Pacific Media Watch

18 August 2016

FIJI: Senior Times staff appear in court over 'antagonistic' letter to editor

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The incitement charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment under the Crimes Decree. Image: FBC News

SUVA (FBC News /Fiji Times/ Pacific Media Watch): Senior staff from The Fiji Times group appeared in the Suva Magistrates Court this week on charges of inciting "communal antagonism" in an article published by the newspaper earlier this year.

The Fiji Times editor-in-chief, Fred Wesley; Nai Lalakai editor Anare Ravula; and the newspaper's publisher, Hank Arts, appeared in court with Fiji Labour Party member Josaia Waqabaca.

According to FBC News, it was alleged that Waqabaca wrote a letter to the editor in April, which included "antagonistic comments against Muslims", and it was featured in the Times' alternative iTaukei language newspaper Nai Lalakai.

The Times reported all four accused were required to pay $1000 each and were released on bail. They will reappear in court on August 31, 2016.


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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. (cc) Creative Commons