May 11, 2009

Two more journo's hauled up

Military seizes Fiji journalists

Two Suva journalists have spent their second night in police cells after they reported on how the Fiji military dictatorship had freed soldiers jailed for killing civilians.

Media sources in Suva, who cannot be named due to fears for their safety, hold concerns for Dionisia Turagabeci and Shelvin Chand, of the website Fijilive. The website is not reporting on the fate of its own journalists.

Dictator Voreqe Bainimarama imposed martial law on Fiji last month and has extended it another month, imposing censorship on all media.

Earlier this year a soldier was convicted of murdering a civilian. In a separate case nine soldiers and three policemen were convicted of the manslaughter of a civilian.

They were sent to jail for terms ranging from eight years to life, but last week all were released on parole.

Fijilive reported this on Friday and on Saturday Turagabeci and Chand were picked up and taken to Suva Central Police Station.

They have been held in separate cells since and have not been allowed to see friends or lawyers.

Although the military have purported to abrogate the constitution and there is no superior court system, it is likely the two journalists will be taken before the Magistrates Court and charged with breaking the emergency regulations.

Last week military spokesman Neumi Leweni hailed the effect of martial law censorship.

"The people of Fiji are now experiencing a remarkable change from what used to be highly negative and sensationalised news to a more positive, balanced and responsible reporting by the media," Leweni said.

The nine soldiers and three policemen freed had been convicted of manslaughter after graphic evidence of how they tortured 19-year-old Sakiusa Rabaka to death a month after the 2006 coup.

His mother, Alanieta Rabaka, mounted an emotional and drawn out regional media campaign to get justice.

Helen Clark and John Howard, prime ministers of New Zealand and Australia at the time, took up the case.


Talei Tora said...

If you're going to post a photo of me - you could at least have posted a more recent one!

Keep The Faith said...

@ "Talei Tora" 12:46: we aren't posting it, you did apparently. We're just linking to it.

Vanity by the way will not get you anywhere.

If you're fussy about your public relations "image" (and you should be because you will be held to account for it in time) then release your own "preferred PR shots" via FJ Govt official web-site perhaps? While you're at it release your own deflective Press Statement.


Anonymous said...

That's moving Fiji forward - releasing the murderers and imprisoning media personnel who in their line of work ensure government transparency and accountability

Semi said...

Talei dou ... the image of you is enough to turn Medusa into stone!

Anonymous said...

isa shelvin that falla just heard from him he's ok they didnt do anything just hold him for the weeknd an relesed him monday lunch time. dont know about the othe one

Anonymous said...

Kailaaaaa Semi!!!!

Oh my, what IMAGE TT????...isa, I just have to laugh at TT's very "concerned" posting/linking of her image. Eve! sa qai lasa tale.

Did someone say "Grandma's teeth" as in when you're playing bowling at the mall...ya!!!

Teejay For A Free Fiji said...

"The people of Fiji are now experiencing a remarkable change from what used to be highly negative and sensationalised news to a more positive, balanced and responsible reporting by the media," Leweni said.

This just confirms that Leweni is another deluded, ignorant croney. The lack of intelligence is gobsmacking.

Stan Blanch JP said...

Maybe the message here is to do more stories on Fiji Rugby??
Like all Fijians I am glad to see rugby back on the front page of the Fiji Times.
It will be five years from today until the next elections are held in Fiji. There is a lot to do in the way of passing legislation to ensure that Fiji becomes a truely democratic society during that time. A society where one man has one vote. A society that is not fuedal driven by the Melansian ratu's who demand their fifes and meddle in the business of politics by co- ercion and corruption. Sadly the Press and journalists of Fiji make their living by whipping up a storm of inciteful accusational reporting encouraging civil unrest and irresponsible and inaccurate statements. In the past this behaviour has led to riots in Suva.In other western Countries this would normaly result in litigation and slander charges being bought in the Civil Court. In Fiji, due to various reasons, poverty being one this is rarely the outcome and many uneducated Fijian people believe what they read in news print must be the truth.
The Pacific Islands forum is due to discuss Fiji and and apart from NZ & Australia there is considerable empathy towards Fiji and its leadership by other Pacific Island Leaders.
In my view it's extremely unlikely Fiji will be expelled. Commodore Frank Bainimarama and his Government are the first government that has been unilaterally supported ny all Fiji -Indo's in the last twenty years simply because this Government doesnt embrace rascist policies that impact negatively both in civli rights and economicly on the Indian Community which comprise of nearly half of Fiji's population. It is quite ironic that NZ and Australia are supporting the old rascist Qarase government. Hilary Clinton in a recent Press release said She is now listening to and considering the other side of the Fiji problem. This is the side not being peddled by NZ and Australia but the side being promoted by her political representative in America Samoa. Every coup in Fiji's past was the result of Chiefs, Ratu's plotting to over throw the Government, tribal nepotism was rife, in Government as well as the Civil service which resulted in unbridled corruption.These chiefs ran around in Government provided $150.000 new S.U.V's whilst their own villagers suffered in squalid poverty. little food, no health care, no books in the village schools.
Under the new Government these guys have the same rights now as every other Fijian whether, Indian, European or chinese. They are not liking Franks message to them, "If you want to eat the bread get off your ass and grow the wheat!" If you want a job in the Civil service you dont get it because you are a nephew of the Chief you get it when you pass the school certificate exam. Under Franks leadership legislation will be passed to ensure that this black era is forever gone from Fiji.
Stan Blanch
Ph 027 221 7606 Global roaming
Formerly of 9 Berry Rd Suvs Fiji

Anonymous said...

That Leweni gook - sega ni uvu biukila qori, boci!

Semi said...

Blanch - u can stick it with your perverted view of us natives, and of your unabashed support of this most unholy of coups. Please stay in yr hole and spare us yr stupidity and your drivel.

Anonymous said...

In your short post.....
You played the man not the ball , nor did you address any of the factual issues I raised.
If you stay tuned into Australian and NZ newspapers online,you will see that people overseas are becoming more informed on the Fiji situation and there is a far greater tolerance and understanding than before. Even the US Foreign Sec Hilary Clinton acknowledged this recently in the International Press.
A recent Sky news interview with Commodore Frank Bainimaram by an australian journalist was aired in almost every country of the world.
It is now on You Tube. John Key and Kevin Rudd will be soon meeting him to reopen discussions.
N.Z's most widely read blog, most visitors every day for news
has been urging John Key to take a sympathetic view towards Fiji and has been publishiung stuff supportive of Frank.
TYhese are facts my friend Semi, go look for yourself
Stan Blanch

Semi said...

Blanch - the FACT of the matter is that u unashamedly support this coup.

We live here - you don't.

You do not see what this man has done to the people of this country in so short a time - the desperation that is here so UP yours my friend with your patronising attitude.