SUVA, April 4 (Xinhua) -- Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama apologized on Thursday to three New Zealand journalists, who were taken in for questioning on Wednesday and kept overnight by police officers on the island nation.
In an urgent parliamentary statement on Thursday, Bainimarama made it clear that the news media has been an ally in accountability, helping to expose an illegal environmental destruction in Malolo.
Bainimarama said he was informed that the three journalists from New Zealand had been detained by the police for questioning and the Fijian government immediately demanded their release as soon as he came to know about the incident.
He said these journalists were in Fiji to report on the recent charges Fiji had brought against Freesoul Real Estate Development, a resort developer.
Bainimarama together with Fiji's Minister for Environment Mahendra Reddy and Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho met with the three journalists and apologized for the treatment they received.
Bainimarama stressed that the Fijian people can be assured, the government will not tolerate any attempts to violate the historic environmental protections enshrined in Fiji's Constitution.