University to investigate Fiji academics
Updated at 7:05 am today
The University of the South Pacific in Fiji has started an internal investigation into a statement released by two journalism academics about media freedom in Fiji.
Fiji Village reports the University will consider appropriate action against Matt Thompson and Pat Craddock, saying academics must comply with University rules and comment responsibly in their area of expertise.
The pair issued a press release at the weekend speaking out about alleged government harassment of the media and justification of torture by the military.
The chair of Fiji’s Media Development Authority, Ashwin Raj, this week hit out at the pair saying their comments were unsubstantiated and had the potential to do irreparable damage to Fiji.
25 June, 2014
Response to Media
Recent comments by our senior academic staff aired on Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat programme and appearing in the media have been brought to the attention of the University and concerns expressed about their accuracy and propriety.
The University again wishes to make it clear that the views expressed by Dr. Matt Thompson and Mr. Patrick Craddock are their own.
The University of the South Pacific upholds the principle of academic freedom and the right of its members to comment responsibly and within their area of expertise on current affairs.
As outlined in the University’s Code of Professional Conduct for Academic Staff, in doing so, staff must observe the laws of the State and comply with University statutes and rules.
Given the concerns expressed about the accuracy and propriety of the comments made by Dr. Thompson and Mr. Craddock, and to protect the academic freedom of all staff (and thereby ensure collective adherence to the University’s Code of Professional Conduct for Academic Staff), the University has initiated an internal investigation, and will consider appropriate action.