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Second journalist arrested

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders condemns two cases of journalists being arrested and questioned for several hours by police since the beginning of August 2008. The latest was that of "Fiji Times" reporter Serafina Salaitoga, who was arrested at her home in the presence of her children on 10 August after writing a story in the previous day's issue that quoted businessman Charan Jeath Singh as criticising finance minister Mahandra Chaudhry.

Although pregnant, Salaitoga was taken away and interrogated at length. Speaking just after her release, "Fiji Times" editor Netani Rika said: "I am happy she is now safe and has been freed, but I am disappointed. Despite our readiness to cooperate with the authorities, eight police burst into her home."

Isaac Lal of the "Daily Post" was arrested and interrogated on 2 August about an article linking a convict, Josefa Baleiloa, to an alleged plot to assassinate national leaders. Lal was picked up after the police spokeswoman complained about being quoted in the report.

"These arrests will foster a climate of fear among journalists and harm news coverage," Reporters Without Borders said. "We call on the authorities to stop using raids and arrests to harass media personnel."

For further information on the Salaitoga case, see:

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