26 Apr 2011

Fiji's emergency regulations won't be lifted yet

8:27 pm on 26 April 2011

Fiji's interim Attorney General says Public Emergency Regulations imposed two years ago won't be lifted until local considerations have been addressed.

The regulations were implemented in April 2009 and were to have been lifted last year with the introduction of a media decree.

The interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, told FBC News in January that the rules are intended to stop those, especially dirty politicians, who seek to jeopardise the work of government.

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says they'll obviously have to be lifted - but not yet.

"There are a number of issues. We're going through a reform period and it does require a particular path to take. It also requires that we have media organisations that are appreciative of the reforms taking place. There are a couple of media organisations that aren't."

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the media decree governs standards and is not intended to police biases.

In a statement, the Ministry of Information says Fiji's not the first country to impose the Public Emergency Regulations, citing Tonga as an example.

However in Tonga no significant actions were ever taken under the regulations, which applied only to a section of the capital's business district.