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ARCHIVES: Pacific Region

December 3, 2008

Delhi-based Australian journalist imprisoned for drug offences in Singapore, sacked by ABC

An Australian television correspondent who said he was traumatised from covering wars and natural disasters has been sentenced to jail for 10 months by a Singapore court for drug offences. Peter Lloyd, 42, New Delhi-based correspondent for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), was arrested while on holiday in Singapore on July 16, and pleaded guilty to three drug-related offences. In return, Singapore's Attorney-General dropped the most serious charge of drug trafficking, which could... MORE
November 10, 2008

Fiji Times in trouble for letter questioning court judgment legalising 2006 coup

Fiji's military government has recommended to the High Court sentence to the editor and publisher of Fiji Times to jail. Last week, the newspaper printed a front page apology and admitted that it was in contempt, for publishing a letter critical of the High Court Panel, which made a judgment that the 2006 coup was legal. On Monday, Fiji's Solicitor-General told Justice Thomas Hickie that the office of the interim Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khiayum , was not happy with the wording of the... MORE
September 23, 2008

Police raid journalist's home over report about Australia's spying efforts on Japan, China

Australian federal police raided the house of a Canberra journalist Tuesday seeking to identify the source for a story quoting classified material from the top-secret Defence Intelligence Organisation, the Age has reported. Seven officers searched the home of Canberra Times national affairs correspondent Philip Dorling at 8.30 am. They took Dorling's laptop computer, the hard drive from a second computer and some documents. Some details that the newspaper reported: "This has been an outrageous... MORE
August 26, 2008

Australia's Fairfax Media cuts 550 jobs

Australia's second largest press group Fairfax Media announced Tuesday it would slash five percent of its workforce, or 550 jobs, as part of a plan to save 50 million dollars (43 million US). Unions said the redundancies in Australia and New Zealand would affect around 180 journalists in the group that publishes the flagship Sydney Morning Herald and the Age newspapers, Agence France-Presse (AFP) has reported. "A wide range of initiatives will result in a head count reduction of approximately... MORE
June 23, 2008

Newspaper publisher charged with contempt of court for reporting on trial

Newspaper publisher John Woods was convicted in the Rarotonga High Court on two charges of contempt of court, reports Cook Island News . Fines amounting to approx. US$60 and court costs were imposed on Woods. The convictions were handed down against the 55-year-old Arorangi resident by Justice of the Peace John Kenning. Both charges relate to the breach of a gag order handed down by Justice Christine Grice on the morning of May 23. The gag order related to a land dispute case (the Manihiki... MORE
May 3, 2008

Fiji deports Murdoch newspaper publisher

Fiji's military government deported the Australian publisher of Rupert Murdoch's Fiji Times newspaper on Friday, after declaring him a threat to national security, according to Reuters. The move is the latest crackdown on the media in Fiji since military commander Frank Bainimarama seized power in a bloodless coup in late 2006, and comes amid growing international criticism of the slow progress in returning the island chain to democracy. The Reuters report had more: Australian Foreign Minister... MORE
May 2, 2008

Fiji deports second newspaper publisher

Fiji's military government defied a High Court order and deported the Australian publisher of the South Pacific country's leading newspaper Friday, continuing a campaign of media intimidation it began within days of seizing power, the Associated Press (AP) has reported. The coup-installed government said Fiji Times publisher Evan Hannah was a threat to national security who breached his work permit conditions, and put him on a Korean Air flight Friday to the South Korean capital, Seoul. Hannah... MORE
April 10, 2008

NZ newspaper editor faces charges over anti-terror raid evidence leaks

Contempt of court proceedings have been started against the editor and owner of a New Zealand newspaper over the publication of suppressed police evidence collected during last year's police raids in the Ureweras. Solicitor-General David Collins filed papers in the High Court in Wellington on Monday against editor Tim Pankhurst and Fairfax New Zealand, the publisher of the Dominion Post , according to the New Zealand Press Agency (NZPA). In November a number of Fairfax newspapers ran articles... MORE
November 30, 2007

Scribe awarded for covering Haneef’s case

MELBOURNE: Hedley Thomas, the journalist who wrote a series of stories about the Australian government’s handling of Indian doctor Mohammed Haneef’s arrest on suspected terror charge, has won the country’s most coveted journalism award. Thomas, who is associated with The Australian newspaper, won the “Gold Walkley” award for covering and highlighting the mistakes made by the government in the arrest and treatment of Brisbane-based Indian doctor Mohammed Haneef. He also won the print news report... MORE
November 20, 2007

Press freedom under serious threat in Australia, finds report

Australia's proud international reputation for the strength of its democratic institutions and civil rights records received a blow with the latest findings of the 'Report of the Independent Audit into the State of Free Speech in Australia'. RSF focused on the anti-terrorism laws in Australia that “risk being abusively used against the press” such as phone-tapping without judicial supervision or forcing journalists to give information and name sources to police or the court. ARTICLE 19 says its... MORE