Fiji's new Criminal Procedure Decree which comes into effect on Monday is more serious than it looks according to sources.
One part of the decree limits what the Fiji media can report on a criminal case when it is transferred to the High Court.
Under Section 201 0f the Decree, the Fiji media can only report on the name of magistrate hearing the case, identity of the court, the name, age and occupation of the accused, the accused person’s lawyer and where the accused has been remanded or bailed.
Media reports can also include a summary of the offence with which the accused has been charged with.
The maximum fine for any media organization or journalist not abiding by the decree is $10,000.
Of more serious concern is under Chapter Three - Part 10 Criminal Offences.
Under subsection 65 Part 2 individuals and NGO's criticising Frank Bainimarama's regime are deemed to have committed treason and this is punishable by imprisonment for 10 years.
Under the decree, an individual will also be arrested at Nadi airport if they make criticisms against the interim government overseas.
The decree also states that any individual sending or communicating any negativity from overseas to Fiji or vice-versa or within Fiji is guilty of sedition.