The Pacific Islands News Association(PINA) has called on the newly established interim government of Fiji to leave the media alone to continue to perform its role of information dissemination to the people of Fiji and the region.
President Joseph Ealedona says the actions are deplorable and is an indication of a desperate regime who have no respect for the rule of law and democracy.
Mr Ealedona says while he is yet to get a full briefing from the PINA Secretariat in Fiji, the news reports coming out of Fiji indicates heavy censorship of news in relation to the political development in the country.
"PINA calls on all rational thinking governments to put a stop to this blatant act of ignoring the norms of good governance and censoring of the media and to take immediate action to pull Fiji into line."
"PINA also calls on the interim government to immediately remove its security force presence in newsrooms and to stop its censoring of news items. The free and peace loving people of Fiji are being silenced by the barrel of the gun and by taking control of the news media and banning news on events taking place and against the regime shows a serious move on the part of the interim government to bring back its people to the dark ages."
Mr Ealedona says while PINA respects the political sovereignty of Fiji, it urges Head of State, Ratu Josefa Iloilo to demand that security forces respect the freedom of the media and ensure that information reaches the people to make informed decisions and comments."
"I will be calling an urgent meeting of the PINA Board to see how best we can play our part in assisting our regional governments bring a solution on the way forward for Fiji. I will also be requesting the PINA Secretariat to take the lead in seeking dialogue between the Fiji Media and the interim government to allow the media to perform its role without fear or favour.
Mr Ealedona said the interim Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, must uphold his promise to the PINA Board in a meeting last year that his government will respect the media and its role to provide information to the people.
"Meanwhile, I urge the media in Fiji to be very sensitive on what is taking place in their country and ensure their actions also take into consideration the safety of their journalists and those involved in news production.
Joseph N Ealedona