"For the first time, Index is sharing its long list, featuring 100 remarkable champions against censorship" - Index on Censorship
Fijileaks is honoured to be sharing the nomination alongside Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine whose journalists were slaughtered in Paris; Fiji's authoritarian chairman of Media Industry and Development Authority (MIDA), ASHWIN RAJ, had shamelessly declared that the Charlie Hebdo dead journalists were victims of unfettered free speech;
of course, he was using the slaughter in Paris to justify the draconian media decree in Fiji
“The individuals and organisations listed in the #Index100 demonstrate courage, creativity and determination in tackling threats to censorship in every corner of globe. They are a testament to the universal value of free expression. Without their efforts in the face of huge obstacles, often under violent harassment, the world would be a darker place,”
Index on Censorship CEO Jodie Ginsberg
Date: Wed, Dec 16, 2015
Subject: World Freedom of Expression Awards 2016 - the #Index100
I'm writing to update you about Index on Censorship's 2016 Freedom of Expression Awards.
We are delighted to inform you that you have been named as one of the 100 long-listed finalists - the #Index100. You will appear on our map here later today (16th December) and continue to be considered for the 2016 awards. A final shortlist of 16 candidates will be announced in late January.
Index on Censorship supports your excellent work, which we believe is crucial in the ongoing fight to improve conditions for free expression globally. We sincerely hope you will continue your fantastic efforts to combat threats to free speech.
As you know the awards are open to all, with nominations crowdsourced from across the world. We received hundreds of suggestions and it's been a huge privilege to learn more about them all.
The amount of courage, creativity and resilience being demonstrated in tackling threats to censorship in every corner of globe is testament to the universal value of free expression. Thank you for your interest and participation in the Freedom of Expression Awards. And please do stay in touch - we would welcome ongoing updates on your work.
VICTOR LAL'S JOURNEY TO FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AWARD 2016:
1987 Sitiveni Rabuka Coups:
Writer Ariel Dorfman remembers the exact moment the idea first came to him for his latest short story, All I Ever Have. It was 7 January 1966, his wedding day. As dawn broke over Chile, an image came into his mind of a man in a military band, playing a defiant, rebellious song on his trumpet. Just seven years later General Augusto Pinochet would seize power. Read more here
2000 George Speight Coup (Failed) - Victor Lal's public and behind-the-scene role in bringing George Speight's TREASON to an end! Bainimarama had signed the Muanikau Accord, freeing Speight
Fijileaks has decided to conceal the identity of the
Fiji High Court Judge, 22 August 2000:
As I have revealed recently, Mesake Koroi, Daily Post Editor, asked me to analyze the Muanikau Accord (see above). I came to the conclusion that George Speight could be nabbed because of the violation of clause (c) – re the handing of all weapons. The Director of Public Prosecutions Office personnel had been wrongly claiming that the Muanikau Accord was invalid because it was signed under duress. It was not until I published the three part series on the Accord showing why and how Speight could be brought to justice that the army finally, on 26 July 2000, summoned its muscles to nab Speight.
I put forward the 1994 precedent in Trinidad which was later employed by the DPP that saw Speight stripped of immunity and the gang behind bars. Don’t get me wrong, I am not blowing my own trumpet nor that of Koroi. (P.S. I had authorized DPP officers to take an advance copy of my analysis off Koroi at 2am, English time before its publication; in fact, it was none other than the then Interim Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase (a cousin of Koroi) who had taken the copy of my analysis to the military and DPP for consideration. Ratu Ului Mara had captured George Speight.)
What Victor Lal had not expected was that having stood up for Mahendra Chaudhry, and with George Speight behind bars, that Chaudhry would not only join Bainimarama as Interim Finance Minister in post 2006 coup but that he (Chaudhry) was hiding $2million in Australia; we still maintain that the money was not for Chaudhry and his family to relocate to Australia but it was meant for Indo-Fijian victims of George Speight coup!
When Bainimarama formed an Interim government post Speight coup, led by Laisenia Qarase, the 1987 coupist Inoke Kubuabola resurfaced as interim Foreign Minister to peddle his racist views against Indo-Fijians,
attacking Victor Lal
A Passionate Defender of Indo-Fijian Rights in Fiji!
Letter: Critique of FML decision to make submission to Constitution Commission
(Letter from A S Khaiyum)
The claim by some executive members of the Fiji Muslim League ('League') that Muslims support a review of our  Constitution and demand separate seats merely because the executive says so is a gross misrepresentation of the views of the everyday and majority of Muslims in our country. The executive lack the mandate to speak as a representative body for Muslims since the League has been and is essentially an administrative institution managing and maintaining mosques, schools, orphanages, a sugar cane farm and real estate. In addition to the lack of mandate the arguments and justifications espoused by the executive for a review and separate seats are flawed.
They are flawed because our Constitution, in particular the Bill of Rights, namely sections 38(2) and 35 more than adequately guarantee and protect religious freedom and minority rights. Indeed if an almost identical South African Bill of Rights provision protects the rights of the minority South African Muslims then what is so special about and differentiates Muslims in Fiji? On the basis that last century the then nascent League made submissions on separate seats, it is argued today that so called Muslim rights will be achieved if these seats as submitted then are allocated now. To refer to a resolution passed some seventy years ago, in an era with its own specificities and dynamics, as justification for separate seats in today's Fiji illustrates a complete ignorance and denial of our political, social and constitutional history/experience as a nation-state. Indeed if we were to hark back and uphold the standards of 1929 then commoner indigenous Fijians and women would not have the right to vote. Fiji and the rest of the world have moved along.
Clearly such absurd referrals to the past illustrate an enormous vacuum in basic critical thinking and analysis, discourse and a general prevalence of obscurantism within the executive. Furthermore, it aptly demonstrates a complete ignorance of contemporary developments in and interpretations of Islamic law and jurisprudence vis-a-vis constitutional, human rights and international law and conventions. More tragically, however, the opportunism of the executive displays the absence of and lack of belief in justice, compassion, selflessness and basic human decency. Most Muslims in Fiji know that certain officials treat the League and its branches as their own little fiefdoms.
Fiefdoms, where nepotism is known to be rampant at most times; where certain families and individuals have reigned as executives literally for decades; where children and families of well-to-do officials benefit from scholarships which were and are meant for poor students; where chairs of numerous committees are held by single individuals; where businessmen and business interests are over represented; where women, the youth, various provinces and other denominations are either underrepresented or not represented at all; where appeals to religious dogma and unity are utilized in response to queries of administrative/financial discrepancies and where certain individuals view the League merely as a means to acquire access to power, influence and ultimately money - all under the guise of "protecting Muslim interests."
Indeed the absence of proper representation, transparency, accountability and ultimately legitimacy also plague other local institutions in contemporary Fiji. The executive of the League cannot and does not represent the political opinion, views, philosophies of individuals or the bulk of Muslims in Fiji. These self appointed guardians do not speak for the masses. Therefore, the current administration and all Fiji Islanders must understand and recognize the majority of Muslims who believe in basic human decency, justice, democracy and constitutionalism reject the idea of separate seats and/or a review of our Constitution.
University of Hong Kong