Journalists deported from Fiji

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Fiji's military regime has deported two foreign journalists.

3 News political reporter Sia Aston and her camera operator were detained by police and taken to Government House this afternoon where she was expected to be told to leave the country. All her footage of events in Fiji has been confiscated.

ABC journalist Sean Dorney, the only other foreign journalist in the country, has reportedly also been ordered to leave.

This is not the first time Fiji's military regime has deported journalists. In December 2008 ONE News Pacific Correspondent Barbara Dreaver was deported. In June 2007, Fairfax New Zealand correspondent Michael Field was deported from Fiji after criticising the regime.

Fiji's military regime has imposed strict media censorship in the wake of the abrogation of the constitution on Friday. Police officers have been stationed in newsrooms, and stories deemed "inciteful" or "negative" about the regime are censored. Fiji Television refused to air its news broadcast on Sunday night in protest at the censorship.

President Josefa Iloilo abrogated the country's constitution and declared himself head of state in response to a court ruling that the military regime was unlawful. He subsequently reappointed military strongman Voreqe Bainimarama as Prime Minister, and reinstated the interim Cabinet.

Fiji's government was overthrown by a military coup in 2006.


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