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Court summons editor and activist over article criticising appointment of judges

Published on Thursday 21 February 2008. Updated on Tuesday 26 February 2008.
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Reporters Without Borders condemns the Fiji appeal court’s harassment of Leone Cabenatabua, the editor of the Fiji Sun, and Virisila Buadromo, the head of the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement, who were summoned and warned by the court on 12 February because of an article quoting Buadromo in that day’s issue criticising the military-led government’s appointment of new judges to the court.

"The judges exceeded their prerogatives by trying to intimidate a newspaper editor who just published an activist’s views on a violation of the rule of law," the press freedom organisation said.

Questioning the independence of the Fijian judicial system, Buadromo’s article described the appointments as illegal and said they were an attempt by the military to legitimise their December 2006 coup. It was the three judges named in the article - Daniel Gounder, Nazhat Shameem and Jocelyn Scutt - who summoned Cabenatabua and Buadromo. No charges have been brought against them.

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