8 Mar 2017

PFF urges Fiji not to bring sedition charge against paper

3:13 pm on 8 March 2017

The Pacific media watchdog, the Pacific Freedom Forum, is encouraging the Fiji prosecution office to pull back from charging staff at the Fiji Times with sedition.

The Fiji Times headquarters on Victoria Parade, Suva

Photo: RNZI / Sally Round

The paper's publisher, two editorial staff and a columnist were charged last year with inciting communal antagonism.

It concerned negative comments about Muslims involved in the Fiji Government made in the Nai Lalakai newspaper, which is published by Fiji Times.

Now the Director of Public Prosecutions, Christopher Pryde, was considering whether these charges should be upgraded to sedition.

But the PFF's Jason Brown said while the Fiji Times needed to improve its control of content the government should also take a different approach.

"For the government to take a step back and consider whether this really constitutes sedition. The best place to answer unfair opinion, and this certainly seems unfair, is in the court of public opinion, not the actual courts themselves."

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