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FIJI: RSF protests to USP over news website

Note: Reports on the Fiji political crisis by the USP Journalism Programme's website Pacific Journalism Online are being hosted by the University of Technology Sydney's Department of Social Communication and Journalism website in Australia until PJO resumes: http://www.journalism.uts.edu.au/

Reporters sans frontières
International Secrétariat
Asia-Pacific Desk

5, rue Geoffroy Marie
75009 Paris France

Tél : (33) 1 44 83 84 84
Fax : (33) 1 45 23 11 51
E-mail : rsf@rsf.fr
Web : www.rsf.fr

Mr Esekia Solofa
Vice - Chancellor
University of the South Pacific
Suva - Fiji

Paris, 9 June 2000

Sir,

Reporters Sans Frontières, an independent organisation for the defence of press freedom worldwide, wishes to express its concern about the suspension of the Pacific Journalism Online web site.

According to the information collected by RSF, the site was disconnected on 29 May. The university authorities said this was for "security reasons". On the same day, supporters of George Speight attacked Fiji Television and threatened Fijian and foreign journalists. Since the beginning of the coup, the web site has been providing coverage of the events, thanks to a team of 20 students.

Reporters Sans Frontières respectfully asks you to allow Pacific Journalism Online to be reopened and guarantee that journalists and students can work freely as long as they comply with the law.

RSF considers that gagging a web site that merely publishes news, and in a professional manner, is a violation of press freedom.

Finally, RSF asks you to ensure that the newspaper Wansolwara can publish freely.

We thank you for your attention and would welcome your comments.

Yours faithfully,

Robert Ménard

General Secretary

+++niuswire

WATCH FOR PMW'S NEW WEB SITE LAUNCH: http://www.pmw.c20.org

PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is an independent, non-profit, non-government organisation comprising journalists, lawyers, editors and other media workers, dedicated to examining issues of ethics, accountability, censorship, media freedom and media ownership in the Pacific region. Launched in October 1996, it has links with the Journalism Program at the University of the South Pacific, Bushfire Media, the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism, and Pactok Communications, in Sydney and Port Moresby.

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Items are provided solely for review purposes as a non-profit educational service. Copyright remains the property of the original producers as indicated. Recipients should seek permission from the copyright owner for any publishing. Copyright owners not wishing their materials to be posted by PMW please contact us. The views expressed in material listed by PMW are not necessarily the views of PMW or its members.

Recipients should rely on their own inquiries before making decisions based on material listed in PMW. Please copy appeals to PMW and acknowledge source.

For further information, inquiries about joining the Pacific Media Watch

listserve, articles for publication, and giving feedback contact Pacific

Media Watch at: E-mail: niusedita@pactok.net.au or: bfmedia@mpx.com.au Fax: (+679) 30 5779 or (+612) 9660 1804 Mail: PO Box 9, Annandale, NSW 2038, Australia or, c/o Journalism, PO Box 1168, Suva, Fiji Website: http://www.pactok.net/docs/pmw/ New website: http://www.pmw.c20.org


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