15 Nov 2008

Pacific Freedom Forum says intimidation of media in Fiji is a concern

3:28 pm on 15 November 2008

The Pacific Freedom Forum or PFF has expressed concern and alarm at the Interim Government of Fiji's escalating campaign of intimidation against media freedom in Fiji.

The PPF is appealing to Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, to immediately stop his continuing and unreasonable legal pursuit of Fiji Times editor Netani Rika and Publisher Rex Gardner.

The court issue is over the paper's recent publication of a letter to the Editor which was critical of the High Court of Fiji's validation of the 2006 military coup.

The Pacific Freedom Forum also directs the same appeal to the Commodore Frank Bainimarama, whose portfolio responsibilities include the Ministry of Information.

Co-chair of PPF, Susuve Laumaea, says its recent call follows Mr Sayed-Khaiyum's announcement that the administration will apply to the High Court to impose jail sentences on the Fiji Times Publisher and Editor, and is also seeking to impose a hefty fine on the newspaper.

He says that's despite the fact the Fiji Times has already publicly apologised for any legal breach it may have committed, and has also offered to pay costs.