#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Viewpoint – Hypocrisy: UN OHCHR’s double talk on media freedom

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Viewpoint – Hypocrisy: UN OHCHR’s double talk on media freedom

By Tupuola Terry Tavita

Am I missing something? Or is Suva-based Matilda Bogner the biggest hypocrite in the region.

Carrying the mouthy title of regional representative of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN OHCHR), Ms Bogner this week issued an invective against an embattled Vanuatu cabinet minister – and the Vanuatu government – for alleged obstruction of media freedom in that country.

This while meekly hiding under the skirt of the biggest media bully in the region and happily turning a blind eye to the daily breaches of media freedom in Fiji. Its draconian extremes never experienced before in this part of the world.

Said Ms Bogner, “The failure to impose a credible punishment on a minister of the Vanuatu government for leading an assault on a newspaper editor and the alleged attempts by another minister to interfere in the broadcasting and publication of information on his conduct raises serious concerns in Vanuatu regarding freedom of the media.”

Fair enough. But where is her office’s concern for the detainment and torture of journalists and the daily interference of the military government on media publication/broadcast in Fiji? The severe lack of media freedom that’s happening right under her nose?Ms Bogner is a hypocrite, a coward and a fake.

This is the woman – in recent months, despite a mountain of evidence – could not mention the oppressive Fiji military and torture in the same sentence, when asked by the media.

She is one of the many international parasites in Suva happily feasting on global taxpayer dollars but failing miserably to raise the issue of human rights violations, of torture and murder committed by the military regime.

And now dishing out hollow lectures and patronizing homilies about media freedom across the seas, from the safety of her Suva office.

While soldiers occupy the newsrooms outside her door, Ms Bogner pontificates about media freedom in another country.

Why? Because the poor minister is a sitting duck. He’s already been exposed and ostracized by local and international media and Ms Bogner could not help but stick in her own one, two. She’s also quite happy to take all the plaudits for it from the alphabet media freedom groups who are forever looking out for higher support for their cause.

But don’t hold your breath. She will not lift a finger for media freedom in Fiji nor make a stand on barefaced abuse of human rights at her doorstep because, then, she will either be on the first flight home or the military regime and Fiji authorities will make things very difficult for the UN OHCHR office.Just ask the Forum Secretariat who are having to put up with things like lengthy visa and wharf clearance delays because it refuses to budge to Bainimarama’s demands.

Until the UN OHCHR makes a stand on media freedom in Fiji, Ms Bogner has no business wagging the finger at Vanuatu.

Tupuola Terry Tavita is the editor of Samoa's Savali newspaper.


Unrest said...

It may be an appropriate time to wake up. The UN is a completely dysfunctional organization. No UN office has ever issued any statement that makes sense or is true.

Banana Republic said...

What utter stupidity!

So Fiji has a horrible human rights and media freedom record, and that means all other Pacific countries should be allowed to be ruined too?

The UN has already released a dozen negative statements about Fiji since 2009.

Anonymous said...

Excellent article!

Matilda Bogner has to go, she does a great disservice for THE key UN human rights regional office. Her priorities are all wrong.

We all know the reason she won't say a word against Fiji is because she doesn't want to be sent out of the cheapskates country esp. with a Afghanistan husband who can hardly speak English, let alone write and 4 young kids. That is her priority over Fiji's tyrannical regime and all the human rights violations happening under her nose. Tragic.

Useless UNOHCHR said...

There is more to this than meets the eye. Perhaps a closer look at the background of who currently leads the farcical UNOHCHR might give a clue?
As for Matilda Bogner. She has done nothing for the region - she has been too busy using nepotism to give consultancies to her bludger friends and feed her face on her cushy tax free lifestyle in Suva. She is a prime example of why the UNOHCHR and the UN have lost all credibility.
An excellent piece of journalism by Terry Tevita.

Anonymous said...

Vinaka Tupuola. You are absolutely spot on there. To date, not a squeak has been heard from the office of the UN OHCHR in Fiji. Their silence is deafening.

Come to think of it, I thought there was no such office in Fiji or if there was, it had long been closed down.

What I would like Ms Bogner to tell me are as follows:

1. What is her office's view and stand regarding the status/level of media freedom in Fiji today?

[military/police presence and interference in news rooms and over news content; hounding, detainment and torture of journalists; hounding and intimidation of media people and their families; the infamous media decree and impact on media freedom; media resorting to self-preservation mode which consequently weakens their role as the fourth estate; a fearful public also resorting to self-preservation mode and thus utters (OR NOT) what the regime wants to hear NOT WHAT THEY NEED TO HEAR)

Does her office not see what is going on or have they also turned into ostriches with their heads truly and deeply buried in the sand?

2. What exactly is her office's stand on reports of human rights abuses in the country since December 2006?

Their silence is embarrassingly deafening!

3. What mandate is her office operating under and to what extent have they been able to operate without interference, in the fulfillment of such a mandate.

So they get declared 'persona non-grata', so what? At least, the world will know not only what is going on in Fiji but also that the office of the UN OHCHR is doing its job. Can they honestly say that they have?

4. Since December 2006, what has her office and her herself in her capacity as Regional Representative of the UN OHCHR done to ensure that human rights (in all its forms) are observed and respected in the region and Fiji in particular?

How have they dealt with and what have they done about the many reported abuses since 2006?

Ms Bogner owes us all an explanation. If she continues with her ostrich approach, then her existence and her office's existence in Fiji and the region is not justified.

Anonymous said...

The entire UN in the Pacific is corrupt. Likewise IMF/World Bank - wow.. one staff at Suva office spends the entire day on her Facebook... what do these offices exist for. what a waste of bloddy money!

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm - Jawal,,,,,watch it Fijian Teachers Association grog group,,,,he comes there, grogs, laughs, curses the govt , listens and informs kaiyum,,,,,,,,,easy cause he wears a sulu and speaks fluent fijian,,,,,

Vanua. said...

Know its good copy Manu Samoa when they start attacking the messenger.
So what now - report her? Her boss was recently in these parts - met some people who are living on atolls & quays - they convinced him sea levels were rising etc etc. Which is strange given my own Island in the very same ocean has not moved at all? Must therefore conclude the Pacific's is rising - but its doing so in troughs.
How are you coping with rising sea's in Samoa? Ni Moce.
How'd you go in the reported fight with the mythical Tongan?

Skywalker said...

The Tongan kicked his behind nicely!!!!!! and then he demanded that he dont get charged 'excess luggage' when he was flying back! He lost that argument and when he had to take stuff out of his bags, it was blankets and stuff from the hotel...everyone in the media group were too ashamed to even look at airport officials who didnt notice what tevita was unloading to make space!!!!lol!!!! classic

Anonymous said...

Very well put Tupuola! UN office of HR in Fiji should shut up, they are all hypocrites, criticizing others but ignoring the stark violations happening right on their noses. When you can do something about all HR violations in Fiji, and convince UNSG to withdraw Fiji troops from UNPKO then you can talk! Otherwise, shut the f-up Matilda whats-your-name! At least someone is sticking up for media freedom (or lack of it) in Fiji - look at all the bum suckers and arselickers like Simpson, kaiyum,vijay narayan, etc. Pathetic little sorts! When Fiji gets back to normalcy, you have no more credibility for trading off media values for your self preservation.

Anonymous said...

Tupuola has a valid point so dont let judgement of his Vanuatu issues cloud your mind. Maybe Ms Bogner needs to get the hell out of FIJI, since she's wasting UN funds.

Anonymous said...

Excellent article Mr. Tavita. True son of Pasifika with a clear direct message instead of the interpretive mumbo jumbo we constantly hear nowadays. Outright lies and long winded meaningless interpretations is in vogue in Fiji right now. So it is quite refreshing to hear someone saying like it is.

Go Samoa! You are the pride of Pasifika.

Anonymous said...

Shame on Matilda Bogner who's tarnished the reputation of UNOHCHR and stripped away any ounce of respect pacific islanders hold for that big white elephant of an office you she heads in Suva. Oh how they jealously guard their obscene, tax-free, USD salaries, in sunny paradise speaks for itself.

Anonymous said...

Skywalker we dont want to know that personal thing you talking about rubbish, Tavita is saying something people have to know ok which is true.

Anonymous said...

According to Matilda Bogner, the OHCHR in Fiji has no mandate to take Fiji's situation into account.

Thus, maybe these experts at the OHCHR are here for money and vacation.

Don you fellas know that most top 'expatriattes" people at the UN office in Suva dont even know that Wednesday 21st September is the International Peace Day???

UN UN...

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 8:17am

If that is the case (UN OHCHR having no mandate to act on Fiji's situation), then WTF are they there for?

It's been almost over 5 years and they still do not have a mandate? Useless parasites!

Frankie and Airyarsy have been running riot trampling on our rights and dignity (since 2006 and this is 2011) and not a squeak from spineless MATILDA and the UN OHCHR?

What will it take Matilda for you to get off your behind and say it as it really is in Fiji?

Anonymous said...

When, oh, when are you WHITE people going to realize, accept and swallow the pill, that your days are FINITO!!
You people seem to cling on to the belief of your 'WHITE MAN'S SUPERIORITY!!' Those days are finished. We can THINK for ourselves thank you!!
Do not tell us how to suck eggs - we will suck the egg shell, the egg, the chicken and YOU too!!!!

Anonymous said...

WOW... IMF Suva staff on Facebook all day.. kemudou! So much for integrity!

Dang Yang!

Anonymous said...

Ms Bogner's views on Fiji are well known. She has been heard to say that the human rights violations in Fiji are not of a serious nature compared to other countries. But compared to what? Uzbekistan where she was previously posted? Every human rights law student knows that the comparison should be to what Fiji was before (with all its imperfections), or to the international standards provided in the UN Conventions. Bogner is a lack lustre human rights lawyer with not a very good political contextual understanding. Unfortunately her mediocrity has coloured the whole office in the Pacific. Bring someone else from Geneva.

Keep The Faith said...

Well, well, well.

Helen Clarke definitely needs to hear about this.

Anonymous said...

Rightly said Mr Tupuola. The whole dept in Suva has 0 credibility. No one is willing to be the wistleblower. They r simply colluding with corrupt miltary personnel. The military junta and its various number of viruses has infected the UN office FULLSTOP.Right thinking citizens are now asking - what actually is the OCHAR role in Fiji?

Anonymous said...

Rightly said Mr Tupuola. The whole dept in Suva has 0 credibility. No one is willing to be the wistleblower. They r simply colluding with corrupt miltary personnel. The military junta and its various number of viruses has infected the UN office FULLSTOP.Right thinking citizens are now asking - what actually is the OCHAR role in Fiji?

Anonymous said...


UN Human Rights Office rejects hypocrisy claim
Posted at 01:40 on 27 September, 2011 UTC
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Pacific has rejected claims that it ignores abuses in Fiji while looking at wrongs being committed in other countries.
The Suva-based regional representative, Matilda Bogner, responded after a Samoa’s Savali newspaper accused her office of hypocrisy.
She says her organisation has stated publicly that the long term damage of undermining fundamental institutions such as the media and judiciary cannot be underestimated.
Ms Bogner says the UN has strongly urged a return to the rule of law, to the reinstatement of the judiciary and an end to media censorship.
She says this has meant criticising the Public Emergency Regulations, which seriously restricts the right to public assembly and freedom of expression, and gives the military and other law enforcement personnel broad powers of arrest and detention.
Ms Bogner says the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay and the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon have called for urgent action towards respect for human rights, the restoration of a legitimate government and constitutional order in Fiji.
News Content © Radio New Zealand International
PO Box 123, Wellington, New Zealand

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