February 05, 2007

Photographer Sitiveni Moce manhandled and detained by soldiers

Veteran photojournalist Sitiveni Moce, a staff photographer for the Fiji Times, was assaulted and detained by soldiers on Friday, January 2.

At about 3pm, Moce was trying to take photos of a group of soldiers apparently arresting someone who had been inside a Suva church when the patrol turned on the photographer, perhaps at the joking insistence of a bystander, the newspaper reported.

The photographer was hit in the face, placed in the back of a truck and kicked, the report says.

The army squad took Moce away, along with an unidentified man who was in the church. Moce was held at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks for an hour before he was released.
The Fiji Times says Moce was taken to a hospital, where he was examined for his injuries which included a bloody nose.

The newspaper decried the attack on its photographer.

"The Fiji Times deplores this unwarranted attack by the military. The commander and his senior spokesmen have given several assurances that the Fiji media can go about their business in their normal way, without interference. Today, we have seen that either that is not the case, or not all the military understand these assurances," said newspaper editor Samisoni Kakaivalu.

He said the incident would be reported to police and the Fiji Human Rights Commission.
The newspaper said it was unable to obtain a comment on the incident from the military's senior

The Fiji Media Council also condemned the attack on Moce. Council chairman Daryl Tarte said Fiji Military Forces commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama had given assurance of media freedom.

He said this meant that photographers must be free to take pictures of incidents that occur.
On July 4, 2000, at the height of George Speight’s attempted coup and hostage crisis, Moce, then a photographer for the Fiji Sun, was attacked and assaulted after going inside the rebel-held parliamentary complex for a news conference.

Moce was stopped by a group of rebel supporters who demanded his film and claimed he was taking pictures for the police. When Moce denied this, he was surrounded, beaten and kicked. Aside from being physically assaulted, Moce said his wallet and camera were taken.


nomorecoups said...

Siti and other photographers and journalists must be free to do their job without at the very least - intimidation.
Journalists here are not only getting intimidated on a daily basis (with military employed journalists calling them up with threats) but now Photographers have to get permission to shoot a news picture in a public place?
Its either the Commodore doesn't understand what Media Freedom meant when he assured it would be upheld by his administration - or he flat out lied and doesn't want the country and the world to know what his brand of leadership really entails.
Who is corrupt now?

Anonymous said...

The Commander has proved time and time again that he is not a man of honour. He does not stand by his word.

About two years ago he assured the nation that there will be no more coups in Fiji as he says this will affect the economy and the poor people of fiji will suffer the most!!
Well, he must have had a huge change of heart about the poor people because now we are suffering and he clearly does not give two hoots.

He says just before the coup that the army will protect everyone and then doesn't bat an eyelid when he is informed that civilians are beaten up on a daily basis by his brain washed goons.

Then he assures media freedom in the country and refuses to comment on the recent assault on Siti.

What a con artist. If ever there was a conman in Fiji, this is the guy. His promises and contrary actions are well documented. I have been comparing all of his outbursts since 2002 and comparing them with what he has done so far and man... what a contrast, what a liar. He cannot be trusted.

He has completely lost the plot and it is so sad that his officers are not man enough to stand him down. The once reputable and proud name of the Fiji Military Forces has been dragged through the mad by a mad man and cowards who do not have the backbone to stand up for what's right.

Where have all the good men gone to?

Anonymous said...

Please take note that FB isusing Freemassions laws at the 33rd level i.e everything has to be done through deceit & lies (sa yaco tiko), followed by taking government by the barrel of the gun. The 34th level says...No turning back which means bloodshed all over.
All these bastards kawa(family lines) are going to suffer, you watch.