1 Jul 2014

USP criticised for treatment of staff who spoke out

4:28 pm on 1 July 2014

Fiji's National Federation Party leader and former University of the South Pacific academic, Biman Prasad, says he is appalled at how the university dealt with comments made by two of its journalism staff.

Pat Craddock and Matthew Thompson were admonished by the USP after speaking out about alleged government harassment of the media and justification of torture by the military.

Dr Prasad says the university should be promoting academic freedom and healthy debate.

He says the university is not a Fiji government institution and therefore accountable to the government, as suggested by its deputy vice chancellor Esther Williams.

"It is not a government institution, it is a regional institution funded by 12 governments in the Pacific, including Fiji government, which gives more, but it is also funded by Australia and New Zealand and USP also gets funding from many other organisations. I am appalled at the comments by Dr Esther Williams."

Biman Prasad is calling for Dr Williams to clarify her position.