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Detained Editor 'Negotiating With Coup Leaders

Detained Editor 'Negotiating With Fiji Coup Leaders'

SUVA (9MSN/Pacific Media Watch) - Detained Fiji Daily Post editor and Australian citizen Dr Robert Wolfgramm is reportedly working with human rights organisations in a bid to negotiate with Fiji's military leaders his "safe and continued residency in Fiji", said the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).

Armed soldiers visited the Daily Post's newsroom twice last Thursday afternoon before taking Dr Wolfgramm to military barracks.

A senior military official then told Dr Wolfgramm that he would be deported with his family to Australia.

Dr Wolfgramm has since been in delicate negotiations to argue against deportation.

"I wasn't given a reason other than being told 'Fiji doesn't need people like you', so I will endeavour to find out what it is we're supposed to have done and respond," Dr Wolfgramm said.

The IFJ has issued a statement saying that they are "appalled" by Dr Wolfgramm's detainment.

"This clear attempt to silence an independent voice, the same day as the military attempted to interfere with editorial policy by meeting with the board, has grim implications for press freedom in Fiji," IFJ's president Christopher Warren said.

"These strongarm tactics are an unacceptable way of dealing with the independent media, and the IFJ demands the Fijian military put an end to this abuse of power and provide the Fijian people with the plurality of media voices they desperately require," Warren said.

Dr Wolfgramm is reportedly married to a Fijian citizen and was born in Suva, with his ancestral roots in Qamea, the IFJ statement said.

Previously, he worked in Australian academia teaching political science and sociology for 25 years.

In a special article for ninemsn earlier this month, Dr Wolfgramm slammed the Fijian military's decision to mount a coup, calling it "a dark chapter in Fiji's post-independence political history".

* An appeal for democracy:



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