27 Aug 2011

Fiji tightens censorship rules following anti-regime graffiti

9:11 am on 27 August 2011

Censorship rules in Fiji were tightened yesterday in a week during which soldiers have been photographed removing anti-regime graffiti from public places.

Yesterday a local broadcaster aired a story about the graffiti and earlier in the week the photographs reached a wide internet audience.

Fiji's media has operated under censorship since April 2009, when the military regime abrogated the constitution and imposed emergency regulations restricting the nature of reportage to what the interim government terms the journalism of hope.

Commodore Frank Bainimarama's interim government promised to lift the regulations with the introduction of a media decree in June last year but both systems of censorship remain in place.

In a mass email to media outlets and journalists yesterday, the Ministry of Information asked for all news headlines to be sent to the censors half an hour before stories are published.

The ministry's Permanent Secretary, Sharon Smith-Johns, declined to comment on the matter.