12 Apr 2010

Samoa PM speaks out for media freedom in Fiji

1:11 pm on 12 April 2010

Samoa's prime minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, has called on Fiji to give the media the freedom to do its work as the interim government in Suva is preparing a Media Decree to replace its censorship regime.

Tuilaepa has told the Savali newspaper that the Fiji plan was ironic because on seizing power in the 2006 coup, the military regime claimed it was addressing corruption in government.

He says the media should be strengthened and the regime should not try to strangle it to death.

Tuilaepa says no compelling reason for the decree has emerged apart from the regime wanting to stem criticism.

By issuing decrees, he says, the interim regime wants to gain absolute power.

A decree granting the regime immunity from prosecution has not been made public in Fiji and media outlets have either desisted or been prevented from reporting it.