Monday, 20 April 2009

[creative-radio] Digest Number 2613

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1. UNESCO Director-General concerned about media crackdown in Fiji
From: George Lessard

1. UNESCO Director-General concerned about media crackdown in Fiji
Posted by: "George Lessard" themediamentor
Date: Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:07 am ((PDT))

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: [Asiapacific-general] FW: UNESCO Director-General concerned about
media crackdown in Fiji
From: "Suman Basnet" <>
Date: Sat, April 18, 2009 23:12
To: "AMARC_AP_General_List" <>

UNESCO Press Release No.2009-32
Director-General concerned about media crackdown in Fiji
            Paris, 17 April – The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro
Matsuura, today voiced grave concern about the suspension of press freedom
in Fiji under thirty-day Public Emergency Regulations that came into force
on 10 April.
            According to the new regulations, editors are not allowed to
publish or broadcast any material that shows the military in an unfavourable
light. Sensitive stories must be approved by government officials before
publication and media organizations ignoring these directives may be shut
            "I am gravely concerned about press freedom in Fiji," the
Director-General declared. "The basic human right of freedom of expression,
which underpins press freedom, is essential for democracy, good governance
and rule of law. I urge the authorities to allow open debate that is always
essential if lasting solutions to difficulties and disagreements are to be
            "Depriving people of news and information about events that
affect them only breeds fear and suspicions. Such measures will not promote
a solution to the nation's social and political problems," Mr Matsuura
            The Public Emergency Regulations were proclaimed after Army
Chief Commodore Frank Bainimarama was reinstated as Prime Minister and the
President of Fiji, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, abolished the Constitution and
dismissed judges who said that the island nation's military government was

UNESCO is the only United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of
expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the
Organization to "further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law
and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the
peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or
religion, by the Charter of the United Nations." To realize this the
Organization is requested to "collaborate in the work of advancing the
mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass
communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may
be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…"
Sent via BlackBerry® from Vodafone.

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