Fiji’s Bloggers Menaced By Junta

Facing a tighter clampdown by military authorities on traditional media like newspapers and radio, many Fijians are evading the censors with blogs. After Frank Bainimarama, the disarmingly named Fijian dictator took power in a 2006 coup, the country has been creeping toward hysterical martial law.

As in Burma (and to a lesser degree in Thailand recently), the most obvious target after the licensed mainstream media (many of whom have simply been deported) will undoubtedly be  bloggers and cyber-dissidents. Some bloggers had already been targeted back in May 2007.

In the meantime, the web may be the only source of information the islanders have, and only 10% of them have regular web access. Soon, the island could be completely isolated from world contact. As Peter Waqavonovono told VOA:

It is unfortunate that I have to say this and that is blogs have actually become one of the main mediums of getting information out there, whether it’s credible or whether it’s not. It’s just the fact that right now people are just desperate for information.

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