29 Jan 2009

United States Government calls on Fiji to respect freedom of press

11:13 am on 29 January 2009

The United States Government is calling on Fiji's interim government to respect the freedom of the press after it expelled the Fiji Times publisher, Rex Gardner.

Mr Gardner, who was also the acting CEO of the Fiji Times, was on Tuesday forced to leave Fiji on a flight to Sydney, after being told he was an illegal immigrant.

A U.S. Embassy Spokesperson says a free and independent press is an essential component of any democratic society.

He says that's the third time that the Interim Government has expelled a newspaper publisher and it raises serious questions about the Interim Government's commitment to the freedom of the press.