fiji UNCENSORED

May 14, 2009

CCF voices detention concerns

Filed under: General — fijiuncensored @ 15:19
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PRESS RELEASE

THE Citizens’ Constitutional Forum (CCF) is concerned at the arrest and detention of people by the police and military, and at the inability of Fiji’s public to be informed about these, due to heavy media censorship.

“The current caretaker government has extended the imposition of the State of Emergency regulations for another 30 days. The continuing arbitrary arrests and detention of civilians by the police and military for questioning is a worrying trend. We fear that this may become worse,” CCF chief executive officer Rev Akuila Yabaki said.

The first arrests took place after the abrogation of the 1997 Constitution on April 10 2009, when President of Fiji Law Society Mr Dorsami Naidu and a Fiji TV journalist Mr Edwin Nand were arrested and detained. In the weeks to follow, a politician Iliesa Duvuloco was detained. Two journalists were arrested on May 9 and released after two days. Rumour has it that currently, a Methodist preacher has been arrested and detained.

“The censorship of media means that it is difficult to verify how many more people are or may have been arrested and detained. These detentions are breaching basic human rights. These detentions will create a bad international reputation for Fiji and will have a negative impact on efforts to move the country forward,” Rev Yabaki said.

CCF reminds the Disciplined Forces that even in a state of emergency, the following human rights may not be derogated: Right to Life; Freedom from Cruel or Degrading Treatment; Freedom from Unreasonable Searches or Seizure; Rights of Arrested, Detained or Charged People; Right to a Fair Trial and Access to Courts or Tribunals; Freedom of Religion and Belief; Right to Vote by Secret Ballot; Right to Equality Before the Law and not to be Discriminated Against; Right to an Education; Protection Against Compulsory Acquisition of Property. – fiji uncensored

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Sydney Fijians mobilise for march

NEWS

THE Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement is hoping to attract 1000 people to its May 24 march in Sydney.

FDFM president Usaia Waqatairewa said the Fiji community there was mobilising and looking forward to the proposed march.

“This will be the opportunity for the Fijian community and supporters of democracy to be the voice of the voiceless in their former heartland of Fiji,” he said.

Waqatairewa said since the purported abrogation of the 1997 Constitution by President Ratu Josefa Iloilo on Good Friday, the Voreqe Bainimarama-led regime had imposed an emergency decree giving it the authority to rule with an iron fist.

“The security forces have clamped down hard on the media, with soldiers posing as censors on al media outlet newsrooms.

“There is a total blackout placed on any serious news about what is happening in Fiji and the only news allowed to be aired aims to paint a rosy picture of the country when the reality on the ground is not.”

Waqatairewa said since the purported abrogation of the Constitution, over 1500 civil servants had been laid off work in one instance. Word had also leaked out that soldiers and police officers convicted of the death in custody of Sakiusa Rabaka, Nimilote Verebasaga and Tevita Malasebe had been released from prison.

“There is a strong likelihood that further harassment by the security forces since the implementation of the emergency decree on the 10th of April have gone unreported.”

Waqatairewa said members of the Fiji community in Sydney was also appealing to Australians to join them on the march. “Many Australians have been to Fiji on holidays and have experienced the beauty of our homeland and its people.

“We are sure that [they] agree with us and disagree with the way this country is being led by a bunch of usurpers and common criminals,” he said. – fiji uncensored

  • The March for Freedom and Democracy in Fiji will be held on Sunday, May 24 in Sydney, Australia. The march will begin on George St in front of the Sydney Town Hall at 2pm before proceeding along Park St to Hyde Park via Elizabeth St. A multi-denominational church service and democracy and freedom rally have also been organised.

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