Intelligentsiya reports that a Fijian businessman was arrested, detained and mistreated by the Fijian army, who suspected him of writing blog posts:

Ulai Taoi, the president of the Fiji Indigenous Business Council, was arrested by soldiers on Friday at about 2pm and was released this afternoon after undergoing interrogation at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks.He has reportedly been mistreated…

Another blog is reporting that businessman and journalist Imraz Iqbal (who owns Fiji Living Magazine) was taken up to QEB for yet another dressing down on Thursday by the commander of the 3rd Fiji Infantry Regiment, Tevita Mara. Also taken up to the camp for a “talking to” was ousted SDL minister Losena Salabula, according to Resistfrankscoup.

Some had high hopes for this coup.  But truth was the first casualty, as always.

The internet is proving to be a headache for autocratic regimes around the world, particularly Youtube.  Thailand was the most recent country to block the video site, after some videos allegedly insulted the king.  Now Youtube has given in to royal pressure and pulled the clips.  In Fiji, though, it is blogs like Intelligentsiya and the resurrected Ms. Vakaivosavosa’s which are worrying the junta.  Soldiers have apparently also pressured FINTEL, Fiji’s sole ISP, to block blogspot.com altogether:

A FINTEL spokesman confirmed he had met with members of the the interim administration this morning and been asked to shut off access to the weblogs.

He said they asked that access be cut off to the blog for “national security” reasons.

“They asked us to address a few things. We have given them some options to consider, because we can’t just go into the web and stop access. It would be unfair to the general public,” the spokesman said.

“We will address the blog sites, but they need to direct us about what we are to do. We can’t just go in and stop anything and everything. It must be specific,” he said.

It seems that anonymity is the only protection for the Intelligentsiya bloggers.  And the worst-case scenario is for Internet access to be cut off completely for Fiji.  Which contrasts with the rosy view Thomas Barnett has of globalization, inevitable connectivity and “content control.”

There can be no justification for banning a blog simply for political reasons.  Doing so reveals the true nature of Bainimarama’s coup.

22 Responses to “Fiji arrests suspected bloggers”

[...] Pacific Empire comments on the arrest and detention of a Fijian businessman by the Fijian army. The army suspects that the businessman was writing anti-government posts. Fijian army took over the power last December in a coup. “Some had high hopes for this coup. But truth was the first casualty, as always”. The detained person has since been released. Share This [...]

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I doubt that blogspot has been filtered outright. According to my stats, I’m still getting hits in Fiji.
So factual it makes that theory full of holes.

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That’s not what Intelligentsiya have claimed, though. FINTEL are quoted as saying that the army requested that they filter blogspot, and they refused citing legal issues and asked for a list of specific blogs to block.

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But your article says a blanket filter on blogspot.com.

Intelligentsiya does not have map stats to confirm that their particular blog is blocked. Right to now it is all speculation.

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I’m quoting a news article which reports that FINTEL was asked to block blogspot.com. It doesn’t say whether that has happened yet. I’m getting hits from Fiji too which suggests that the internet is still up and running despite attempts by the army to censor internet access through FINTEL.

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[...] On 14th May, Intelligentsiya reported that the army’s Land Force Commander has a list of about 20 people who will be arrested in connection with anti-military blogs. It has also been reported that the Fiji Military Forces (FMF) have pressured FINTEL, Fiji’s only ISP, to block blogspot.com blogging platform, nearly exclusively used by the “Fijian Freedom Bloggers”. It seems that the Army is considering blogs as “a threat to ‘national security” [...]

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[...] On May 14th, Intelligentsiya reported that the army’s Land Force Commander has a list of about 20 people who will be arrested in connection with anti-military blogs. It has also been reported that the Fiji Military Forces (FMF) have pressured FINTEL, Fiji’s only ISP, to block blogspot.com blogging platform, nearly exclusively used by the “Fijian Freedom Bloggers”. It seems that the Fiji’s military junta is considering blogs as “a threat to ‘national security“. [...]

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Dude, looks like you just got your first Russian pingback! Congrats.

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Yes it looks like Russian, but its actually Greek :-)

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[...] Intelligentsiya reported on May 14th that the army’s Land Force Commander has a list of about 20 people who will be arrested in connection with anti-military blogs. It has also been reported that the Fiji Military Forces (FMF) have pressured FINTEL, Fiji’s only ISP, to block blogspot.com blogging platform, which is nearly exclusively used by the Fijian “Freedom Bloggers”. Previously, on Friday May 11, the prominent businessman Ulai Taoi was arrested and then released after being held in custody for 24. The FMF suspected him of being an anti-military blogger. It has been reported that he was “physically abused while in custody”. According to an email from “Bainivore,” a member of the Fijian Freedom Bloggers, the military claimed that Ulai Tao was Fijian Black – the blogger who ran the May Day protest and called on people to boycott work in protest against the interim administration. (see the video below). But the irony in that is the fact that the Fijian Black is not a person but a blog. As described by Intelligentsiya: “FIJIAN BLACK is the blognym for the blogsite Good Men (and Women) Doing Something and is calling on the public of Fiji to passively resist the interim regime by staying home on Tuesday, 1st of May, 2007.” [...]

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[...] On May 14th, Intelligentsiya reported that the army’s Land Force Commander has a list of about 20 people who will be arrested in connection with anti-military blogs. It has also been reported that the Fiji Military Forces (FMF) have pressured FINTEL, Fiji’s only ISP, to block blogspot.com blogging platform, nearly exclusively used by the “Fijian Freedom Bloggers”. It seems that the Fiji’s military junta is considering blogs as a “threat to national security”. [...]

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Ring the military – tell them what you think … good for a reaction

Try these numbers … and feel free to spread the word.

Pita, just below, gave a really vocal reaction when I asked him about the trouble with the nurses – he he he. Expect bad language if you ring him.

It’s easy to get numbers if you do a bit of hunting …. spread the word.

Colonel Pita Driti
+679 338 6640

Major Josefa Tikonatabua
+679 338 1280

Apakuki Kurusiga (theoretically Chief Staff Officer – half arsed -Operations)
+ 679 338 5222 ext. 1412

Republic Of Fiji Military Forces
+679 331 3799

Bainimarama (aka Tiny Banana)
+679 338 7545

Fijian Navy
+ 679 331 2585

Captain Setareki Bogidrau
+ 679 339 5204

FMF Officers Qrtrs 6 Nabua, Suva
+ 679 337 2309

FMF Web services
+679 338 5222 ext. 1414

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,..] pacificempire.org.nz is one must read source on this subject,..]

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