29 Jan 2009

Fiji's Law Society condemns action of interim regime to deport Gardner

11:21 am on 29 January 2009

Fiji's Law Society has condemned the action of the interim regime to deport yet another publisher, Rex Gardner, without giving him any right of reply or time to appeal.

The Australian is the publisher of the Fiji Times newspaper and the acting chief executive officer, whose contract was due to expire on February 5.

President and lawyer, Dorsami Naidu says that any appeal by Mr Gardner to his deportation order from Sydney won't be easy, given other appeals are still pending in the courts from other publishers who have also been deported by authorities after printing controversial articles.

Mr Naidu says it sends a strong warning to people working in Fiji's media industry.

"We are supporting Mr Gardener. We believe in the freedom of the press and here we have a government that its sending out its message to the media that if you dont print what we want you too, or if you dont listen to us this is what we will do to you and its very unfortunate."

Dorsami Naidu says authorities have yet to clarify publicly the reasons why Mr Gardner was declared an illegal immigrant and a threat to national security.