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FIJI: 'Respect' journalists, says FMA after court assault


Fiji Media Association's Stanley Simpson ... "media freedom must be respected." Image: Asia Pacific Report

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Item: 9795

By Aqela Sulu
SUVA (The Fiji Times/Pacific Media Watch): People need to respect, appreciate and understand the hard work of journalists, says Fijian Media Association general secretary Stanley Simpson.

He made this comment after a Fiji Sun reporter was attacked by a relative of an accused person produced at the Suva Magistrates Court yesterday.

The reporter was taking videos of the three accused persons when the man walked towards her, grabbed and threatened her.

The man was shouting and questioning who gave the media the right to film them.

Simpson said the association strongly condemned such acts committed against journalists.

He said Fiji was a democratic country and people needed to know how hard journalists worked to get the news out under trying circumstances.

"Journalists are performing a public service at the courthouse by reporting on the cases that appear before our judiciary," Simpson said.

"This allows the public to see what is happening in our society, and more importantly that the laws of the country are being enforced, that a fair trial is being administered, and that justice and the rule of law is being served and adhered to."

"They are well within their right to do so, and media freedom must be respected.

"People are advised to have conversations with journalists, media organisations or the authorities if they have a grievance — but not to resort to threats, physical violence or other unlawful actions," he added.

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Pacific Media Watch

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Pacific Media Watch is compiled for the Pacific Media Centre as a regional media freedom and educational resource by a network of journalists, students, stringers and commentators.
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