6 Feb 2007

Fiji's media council condemns assault and detention of photographer

11:26 am on 6 February 2007

The assault and detention of a Fiji Times photographer, Sitiveni Moce, by soldiers on Friday has been strongly condemned by the Fiji Media Council.

The Council's chairman, Daryl Tarte, said the Fiji military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, had given assurance of media freedom.

The Fiji Times editor, Samisoni Kakaivalu, said the paper would lodge an official complaint with the Fiji Human Rights Commission and the police.

Mr Moce was manhandled by soldiers outside the Methodist Church in Suva on an assignment at the church when the soldiers manhandled him.

He was then manhandled, dragged to the military truck and taken to a camp where he was questioned and detained for an hour.

Mr Moce was medically examined on Friday night for injuries he sustained.

Paula Sotutu of the Fiji Media Council complaints committee said it was a pity that despite giving media freedom assurance, the military assaulted media personnel.