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The safety of media personnel in Fiji has come under the spotlight yet again after an attack on a journalist on Monday.
In a shocking incident a remand prisoner threw a stone at a Fiji Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) news reporter whilst in the presence of a police escort outside the Suva courts.
To make matters worse the police at the scene refused to take any action against the remand prisoner even though the reporter was also verbally abused.
FBC journalist Praneeta Prakash was shooting footage of a man sentenced in a corruption related case in Suva when a remand prisoner being escorted by police to the cell block threw a stone at her which struck her stomach.
Fijian Media Association (FMA) General Secretary Stanley Simpson says reporters cover court stories in order to inform the public and to ensure that justice is served under the law.
“The journalist needs to be left to do their work because in the end it benefits everyone. We saw a Fiji TV reporter was man-handled, we saw a Fiji sun reporter get attacked recently now we see the terrible incident of a stone being thrown at a journalist. In these public spaces and especially in the public interest the journalist has every right to be there to take footage.”
Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro says they will carry out a thorough investigation on the incident..
“We have had some incidents where members of the public have attacked journalists again we would request them to respect the rights of the journalist. Their simply doing their jobs, they’re not breaking any law.”
Meanwhile, Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission Director, Ashwin Raj says it is deeply concerning that journalist are exposed to such situations and they must have a safe environment where media is able to discharge their duties.
SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
Who & What is PINA?
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
Media Helping Media