Pacific Media Watch

21 July 2012

FIJI: Coalition for Democracy protests over incorrect Stuff 'raid' news item

Hero image
The controversial Stuff website story.

AUCKLAND (Coalition for Democracy in Fiji / Pacific Media Watch): The Coalition for Democracy in Fiji has protested over an incorrect Stuff news story wrongly naming the CDF in relation to reported raids on Fiji homes linked to an alleged assassination plot against Fiji regime leader Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.

But the Fairfax NZ-owned Stuff and at least two other major news services - Radio Australia and the Fiji Sun - had failed to correct their website by early today - more than eight hours after the statement was released to news media.

None of the cited media organisations asked for clarification.

The statement by CDF spokesman Nik Naidu said:

"We wish to object to references made to our organisation, the Coalition for Democracy in Fiji (CDF), in a news item published on your [Stuff] website this week regarding an alleged assassination plot to kill the current Fiji regime leader Frank Voreqe Bainimarama.

"The individuals mentioned are not associated with the Coalition for Democracy in Fiji.  And no members of the Coalition for Democracy were ever visited by police.

"In fact, the Coalition for Democracy in Fiji opposes visits by Mr Mara to New Zealand and Australia, and have asked for his arrest for crimes of torture. 

"The Coalition for Democracy in Fiji was formed in Auckland on 14 May 1987 on the day of the first Fiji military coup, and supports a peaceful non-violent return to democracy in Fiji."

Stuffreported that Rajesh Singh, a former Fiji cabinet minister in the government of Laisenia Qarase deposed by the military in 2006, "and others visited [by police] were members of a small Auckland-based group, Coalition for Democracy in Fiji which is [sic] called for the restoration of democracy."

Pacific Media Watchunderstands the group referred to by Stuff and other news reports was in fact the Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement (FDFM), a separate organisation.

CDF says: 'We wanted [Mara] arrested'

Raids over alleged Fiji assassination plot - Original report here from Stuff 18/72012

Government unaware of any plot to assassinate PM

Bainimarama 'not surprised' by assassination plot

Pacific Media Watch

PMC's media monitoring service

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. (cc) Creative Commons