FIJI TIMES TO APPEAL AGAINST EDITOR'S VISA REJECTION

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (January 4, 2000 – Radio Australia)---The Rupert Murdoch-owned Fiji Times newspaper says it will take legal action against a government order forcing its expatriate editor to leave the country.

Russell Hunter has been refused a visa extension after three years as editor-in-chief of the paper and has been told to leave Fiji within one month.

In a statement, a lawyer acting for the Fiji Times, Graham Leung, linked the decision to "the palpable hostility against the Fiji Times by some senior members of the government."

The Fiji government has regularly accused the Times of anti-government bias and support for opposition parties.

Ironically, the previous government also refused Hunter a visa when he was appointed in 1996, but eventually relented.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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