27 Feb 2008

Fiji Media Council shocked at Hunter expulsion

2:37 pm on 27 February 2008

The Fiji Media Council says it is shocked at the deportation of newspaper publisher Russell Hunter.

Mr Hunter, the publisher of the Fiji Sun, was deported to Australia yesterday.

Chairman, Daryl Tarte, says the Council has also registered its dismay at the way the immigration department acted without due process being followed, without regard for his fundamental rights, access to advice and the plight of his family.

He says he hopes Mr Hunter will be allowed back into the country.

"Because the court has given an order staying the deportation and I would say he has a fundamental right to come back here and defend himself. And that is what we have called on Government to do, to allow him to come back and defend his personal and professional reputation, but whether this will happen is another matter."

Daryl Tarte says the Media Council has not directly raised the issue with the interim government but will discuss Mr Hunter's expulsion at a meeting next week.