Statement Regarding Journalist Barred from Fiji
28 May 2004
The CPU New Zealand Media Freedom Committee will demand that the Fijian Government reveal the names of any of this country’s journalists who are on the blacklist banning them from entry.
The committee met on Friday following a second refusal by Fijian authorities to admit TV3 reporter Jeff Hampton. Hampton’s name is on a blacklist following a report immediately before the second coup in Fiji. He had been told that he would be able to join his family on holiday in Fiji but at the last minute was advised he was still blacklisted.
The chairman of the committee, Gavin Ellis, said there was real concern among New Zealand media organisations at Hampton’s banning and the possibility that others may be on the blacklist.
An attempt today by a journalist to find out whether he was also blacklisted met with a refusal to disclose names.
Mr Ellis said blacklisting of bonafide journalists was unacceptable and the existence of a secret list was intolerable.
“We will demand to know who is on such a list and then demand their removal from it” Ellis said.
“There is no place for such restrictions in a country trying to return to democracy”.