UN urges Fiji to amend Media Decree

Fiji's government has been urged to respect the rights of journalists and remove legislation which restricts press freedom in the Pacific nation.

In its Universal Periodic Review report published in December, the United Nations' Human Rights Council called on Fiji to amend its Media Industry Development Decree 2010.

The report also calls for Fiji to avoid "abusive interpretations" of any journalistic publications.

They have conveyed to the government their disappointment at aspects of the media laws," according to the general secretary of the Fiji Media Association, Stanley Simpson.

"Particularly those that cause journalists to maybe think twice or try and interpret ambiguous statements within those within those laws, that may hinder their ability to do their work freely as journalists."

"We welcome any cause of support from the international bodies in support of media freedom and media rights in Fiji."

Mr Simpson said the association held discussions with the government over their concerns and issues.

He said the association would be carrying out a media mapping study on the local industry.

"And see where we stand at the moment. That study will help you know address some of the training needs and development in the world," he said.

"That we will be looking to to help with our journalists and our members in the coming years."

A Fiji government delegation, headed by Chief Justice Kamal Kumar, presented a report to the council in Geneva in November.

Universal Periodic Review is a peer review that all UN countries go through.