Victims of government intimidation
Under Voreqe “Frank” Bainimarama, who has proved impossible to remove as prime minister ever since a military coup in 2006, journalists who are overly critical of the government are often subjected to intimidation or even imprisonment. The media have to operate under the draconian 2010 Media Industry Development Decree, which was turned into a law in 2018, and under the regulator it created, the Media Industry Development Authority, over which the government has direct oversight. Those who violate this law’s vaguely worded provisions face up to two years in prison. The sedition laws, with penalties of up to seven years in prison, are also used to foster a climate of fear and self-censorship. Sedition charges put the lives of three journalists with the Fiji Times, the leading daily, on hold until they were finally acquitted in 2018. Many observers believed it was the price the newspaper paid for its independence.
52 in 2019
27.18 in 2019