Fiji - Alerts
The Fiji regime has threatened that coverage of people it brands as "opposition" will cost Fiji TV its broadcast license.
The country's new state proceedings decree grants Fiji's regime leader and his ministers exemption from defamation suits over anything they may say in public or private.
During his New Year’s address to the nation, Commodore Frank Bainimarama announced that the regulations, in place since April 2009, will be removed to allow preparations for the drafting of a new national constitution.
A "contempt" case was filed against the "Fiji Times" after it published an interview containing comments about the judiciary that offended the attorney general.
Daniel Urai and Dinesh Gounder were arrested for trying to discuss the new Essential Industries Decree, which has roused international concern about workers' rights.
Felix Chaudhary, a journalist for the "Fiji Times", was taken in for questioning by military officers while covering a public function.
The regime pledged to lift the regulations when the Media Industry Development Decree was gazetted on 25 June 2010 but the censors remain.
Netani Rika, long-serving editor of the "Fiji Times", was reportedly forced to leave his job because of extraordinary pressure.
Richard Naidu ran a story stating Fiji's military police head, Esala Teleni, had been suspended.
A new media decree legislates registration of all media outlets with a regime-endorsed "authority" given sweeping powers to protect the national and public interests.
According to IFJ, the decree strictly limits the media's ability to regain its role as a critical watchdog on the accountability of power-holders.
"Fiji Times" and Fiji TV had previously been banned from participating in discussions over a proposed media decree.
Hearings are scheduled to continue against Imrana Jalal in a case brought against her by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC).
The regime has damaged its own credibility by banning mainstream media outlets from participating in the consultation process for the new law, says PFF.
The IFJ urged the ASTW to rethink a proposal to conduct the meeting in Fiji in view of the military regime's strict censorship.
PFF condemned the illegal detention, assault and deportation of Professor Brij Lal.
According to media reports, during a seminar at a university the attorney general said, "Are journalists being locked up? Are journalists being told what to write? No!"
The transition of leadership at the council will come to nothing if the military regime does not relax its stranglehold on free media and free speech, PFF says.
The IFJ said ASTW members would be compromising their integrity to accept the hospitality of the regime in the current circumstances.
A threatening message against a newspaper editor recently appeared on a pro-Fiji regime blog.