Last Updated: Friday, 24 November 2017, 11:02 GMT

Attacks on the Press in 1996 - Fiji

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date February 1997
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 1996 - Fiji, February 1997, available at: [accessed 24 November 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

March 22

The Fijian government threatened to take legal action against the Fiji Times to compel it to disclose sources and other information the newspaper relied on for an article about a Fijian village whose economy was based on marijuana cultivation. The government demanded that the paper reveal both the location of the village and the identities of its sources. The Fiji Times refused to comply. Despite its threats, the government had taken no legal action by year's end.

May 2
Mike Field, Agence France-Presse (AFP), HARASSED

Immigration officials detained Field, a New Zealand-based correspondent for AFP, at Fiji's Nadi international airport. The officials said Field's name was on a blacklist of journalists who had abused immigration procedures in 1990 by working without a permit. Officials released Field after five hours and allowed him to enter Fiji and remain in the country for two days. Jone Tevita, Fiji's immigration director, said on May 29 that Field had been placed on the blacklist of journalists by mistake, and a letter of apology was sent to him by the Fiji government. Field has since visited Fiji on two occasions without incident.

May 20
Ron Gatty, Fiji Times, HARASSED, CENSORED

The immigration department ordered Gatty, an expatriate Australian, to cease writing a weekly column for the Fiji Times on the grounds that his work as a journalist breached the terms of his work permit, which allows him only to manage a spice farm. Home Affairs Minister Col. Paul Manueli later reversed the decision, after Gatty supplied a declaration stating that he received no financial remuneration as a journalist, and so was not violating his work permit. Colleagues in the region viewed the actions as an attempt to intimidate Gatty, whose column is often critical of the government.

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