27 Jul 2010

Fiji regime extends its emergency powers for another month

3:44 pm on 27 July 2010

Fiji's interim regime has extended the Public Emergency Regulations for another month.

The special rules, also known as the PER, were first introduced when the constitution was abrogated and have now been in place for nearly sixteen months.

The interim government last month announced a new Media Decree that came into effect on June 28.

The Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, said, while announcing the implementation of the decree, that the PER will remain in place for the next three months.

Fiji's permanent secretary for Information, Sharon Johns, says while the extension is assessed on a security basis, the media decree does play a part:

"Because part of the emergency regulation, there are different sections underneath it one of which is the media, in three month's time, we've given time for the media decree to settle down for everyone to get used to working within the media decree, so we've given three months and then it will be reviewed and ultimately lifted and then the media decree will come fully into place."

Fiji's permanent secretary for Information, Sharon Johns.

Under the decree media organisations must be 90 per cent locally owned in three months, a provision that principally affects the Fiji times which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd.