MWG calls for proper definition of emotional distress in online Bill

Meline Buadromo (centre) of the Media Watch Group presenting her teams submissions to the Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights at the Parliament Complex yesterday. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

RESPONSIBLE free speech allows a democratic society to voice opposition against any government plan that may be detrimental to taxpayers in any form.

This was a statement by the Media Watch Group (MWG) during their submission to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights on the Online Safety Bill.

Meline Buadromo while presenting their submission today said MWG stands by the right to responsible free speech for Fiji’s citizens and all efforts must be made to safeguard this.

“This is a fundamental component of a truly democratic society and is a must for a developing island nation as ours in this growing digital age,” Ms Buadromo said.

She said this issue is at the heart of the work of Media Watch Group and they strongly oppose any attempt that threatens to undermine responsible free speech in any way.

“The Bill must properly define emotional distress or the process of determining the seriousness or not of the distress,” she said.

She said online safety will be guaranteed if the recommendations put before this committee is adopted.

“And it will ensure one of the cornerstones of our democracy continues to thrive into the future for the next generations to learn from and live their lives.”