We comply with regulations

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

THE Fiji Times newspaper and its online news service, Fiji Times Online, are being produced in accordance with the prevailing decree of the new legal order.

According to the Public Emergency Regulations 2009, which is now in force since the 1997 Constitution was purportedly abrogated last Friday, the Permanent Secretary for Information has the total power to control broadcasts and publications.

Major Neumi Leweni, who was the deputy secretary of the Department of Information prior to Friday's events, has been appointed the department's permanent secretary.

Section (2) states: In order to give effect to subsection (1) above any broadcaster or publisher upon direction by the Permanent Secretary for Information must submit to him or her all material for broadcast or publication material before broadcast or publication.

Section (3) reads: Any person or entity which fails in any way whatsoever to comply with the provisions of this section may be ordered by the Commissioner of Police or Officer Commanding upon advice from the Permanent Secretary for Information to cease all activities and operations.

Fiji Times Limited's decision was also taken in accordance with a further communication from Major Leweni who instructed the media to "refrain from publishing and broadcasting any news item that is negative in nature, relating to the assumption of executive authority on 10 April by His Excellency the President and the subsequent appointments of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers .... in accordance with Section 16 (1) of the Public Emergency Regulations".

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* The struggle for freedom of expression is as ancient as the history of censorship. The playwright Euripides (480 -406 BC) defended the true liberty of freeborn men; the right to speak freely, and he added diplomatically: "Who neither can nor will may hold his peace. What can be more just in a State than this?".

* Currently, most of the serious attacks on freedom of expression are committed in countries in the Southern hemisphere or former East Block countries, and even today, more than half the world's population still lacks an independent press.

* "The media has been the first hostage to be taken, either by occupying forces or by military dictators when overthrowing governments. As a rule, the press has been faced with the choices of gagging or closure, and many a respectable newspaper was simply taken over by or submitted to becoming the mouthpiece of the new rulers".

* The combination of demonising the enemy and whitewashing one's own cruel deeds, while blindfolding the people through rigid censorship, have been favoured strategies of many a warlord and dictator throughout history. Some of the worst examples of rigid press censorship induced by military dictators in the 20th century were those of Spain (Spanish Civil War 1936-39 - the regime lasted from 1936-1975), Greece 1967 -1974, Chile 1973-1990 and Nigeria 1966-1999. Also Turkey, under the pretext of ensuring national security against "the enemy within" – the Kurd minority - still upholds strict censorship through the Anti–Terror Act of 1991, in spite of countless pleas from the international society.

* "Those that live by the pen shall die by the sword"
With these words the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) declared war on the media in Algeria, instigating one of the most chilling contemporary examples of the deliberate murder of the messenger. From May 1993 until the end of 1995, 58 editors, journalists and media workers were systematically executed;___________________________________________________________________________________________________

~~~~~~~~~~~Here below is the link where I found the above information.~~~~~~~~~~~~





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