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Blacklisted New Zealand journalist detained and expelled

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders condemns Fiji's expulsion of New Zealand journalist Michael Field and the existence of a government blacklist of undesirable foreign journalists. Field, who works for the Fairfax press group, was detained on his arrival on the evening of 14 June 2007 at Suva airport and was expelled a few hours later. He was treated well and an immigration officer even voiced regret at finding his name on a blacklist. Other journalists who arrived on the same flight as Field were allowed in.

This was the first time Field has tried to enter Fiji since the December 2006 military coup. He wanted to cover the diplomatic crisis resulting from Fiji's decision to expel New Zealand's high commissioner. Field, who used to be AFP's South Pacific correspondent, told Reporters Without Borders he thought he had been denied entry because of his many articles on Fiji. "This is not the first time I have been turned back, but this time it has come amid growing harassment of Fijian journalists."

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