NEWS

Death Threats For Women Journalists

Two journalists have received death threats after reporting on SODELPA leader Ro Teimumu Kepa pulling out of a live TV debate with Voreqe Bainimarama. FBC’s Vosita Kotoiwasawasa and Fiji Sun’s
10 Sep 2014 09:11

Two journalists have received death threats after reporting on SODELPA leader Ro Teimumu Kepa pulling out of a live TV debate with Voreqe Bainimarama.

FBC’s Vosita Kotoiwasawasa and Fiji Sun’s West Editor Jyoti Pratibha were threatened through different media.

Ms Kotoiwasawasa declined to comment.

Vosita Kotoiwasawasa

Vosita Kotoiwasawasa

But FBC confirmed it was working with Telecom Fiji Limited to trace threatening calls and would then refer the matter to the Police.

Fiji Sun’s IT team is also tracing those behind the fake profiles which have appeared on Facebook threatening Ms Pratibha.

Facebook threats made against Ms Pratibha were also posted on the wall of SODELPA youth representative Pita Waqavonovono’s page by a fake Rahul Singh. Her photos have also been widely circulated on social media by the same person.

Last night a defiant Ms Pratibha said: “I will not be intimidated or cowed by cowards who use fake profiles to threaten us.

“I was only doing my job and I will continue doing it.”

The Permanent Secretary for Information Sharon Smith-Johns was so incensed by the nasty attacks that she responded, saying on a site called Fiji Economic Forum:

“You are a bunch of cowards that think beating up women is a manly thing to do, well it’s not. How can you seriously think she deserves to be beaten up and spat at for simply having an opinion!? She is not the source of all evil, racism and hatred in Fiji!!! YOU ARE. And here’s the thing, you all hide behind fake names, you live overseas and none of you have the balls to MAN up and have a debate on the issue because all you know is violence and hatred.

“So let’s wrap this up for you all. Her biggest crime is writing a piece that YOU don’t agree with.. and you call this government ‘Dictators’!! Really!! Have a look in the mirror all of you.”

Jyoti Pratibha

Jyoti Pratibha

Fiji Sun Publisher/CEO Peter Lomas said such is the nastiness of the threats being made that Ms Pratibha is being provided security.

He said: “Our journalists like Jyoti are working hard to cover this election and are reporting on issues some others are staying away from. Our journalists will not be intimidated. We will do whatever is needed to protect them and to find and hold accountable those behind these cowardly threats.”

Ro Teimumu, the SODELPA leader and Mr Bainimarama, the FijiFirst leader and Prime Minister, were set to face off  in a live FBC TV show. She had originally asked for the debate but the PM was busy at the time. Now he is free and keen to debate with Ro Teimumu. FBC TV thought it had an agreement on the telecast.

But Ro Teimumu’s communications director Jese Sikivou later posted a lengthy response on Facebook. He said he decided Ro Teimumu’s schedule and it was his decision that she did not appear on the show.

Mr Sikivou also admitted that he was disappointed at FBC TV 4 The Record producer Edwin Nand’s line of questioning of Ro Teimumu when she had earlier appeared on the 4 The Record show. He had also questioned Mr Nand whether he was receiving questions through his earpiece during the show.

Mr Nand had assured Mr Sikivou that he was in no way receiving any instructions from his earpiece.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 

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