Two scribes held in Fiji for infringing censorship

May 11th, 2009 - 10:30 am ICT by IANS  

Wellington, May 11 (DPA) Two journalists working for the independent Fijilive news website have been arrested, apparently for infringing emergency censorship regulations barring reports that cast a negative light on the Pacific island country’s military rulers, according to reports Monday.
Dionisia Turagabeci and Shelvin Chand were arrested Saturday, but it was not clear what they were charged with, Radio New Zealand International reported.

Strict censorship of all media outlets was imposed last month after the country’s judges were sacked following a Court of Appeal ruling that the government of military strongman Voreqe Bainimarama, who took over in a coup in December 2006, was illegal.

A Fiji blog, Coupfourpointfive, said the journalists were arrested for Fijilive reports on the the release from prison of soldiers jailed for killing three civilians in 2007.

A soldier was convicted for murdering one of them, eight soldiers were convicted for killing another and three police officers were found guilty for killing the third at a police station. But all were jailed for manslaughter instead of murder.

Coupfourpointfive quoted sources as saying that police arrived at the Fijilive news website office in the capital Suva a few hours after the story appeared.

They ordered the story be pulled out immediately and demanded to know who had written the article and authorised its publishing on the website.

Chand was the reporter on duty and Turagabeci the desk editor, the blog said.

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