MIDA’s Raj warns Fiji media not to promote ‘discord’

MIDA chair Ashwin Raj says his suggestion to regulate social media comes in the face of hate speech online. Image: Fiji Television

Report by Pacific Media Watch in Suva

Fiji’s Media Industry Development Authority says media organisations should not publish or broadcast material in a form likely to promote discord, but are free to report matters of national interest, reports Radio NZ International.

The authority’s chairperson, Ashwin Raj, made the comment after report in the Fiji Sun last week which quoted the prime minister as saying if a women wants to marry another woman, they should do so in Iceland and stay there.

Raj said media organisations had to be sensitive to and particularly careful about the possible effects of discriminatory references to vulnerable minorities in prejudicial or pejorative contexts.

He went on to say that Fiji needed to have a deep and meaningful discussion on the issue that goes beyond what he calls the “cul de sac of marriage”.

Fiji’s gay community has called on the prime minister Voreqe Bainimarama to apologise for what it says are derogatory and homophobic statements.

A human rights advocate, Shamima Ali, has described the prime minister’s comments as disheartening.

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