The Fijian military is continuing its campaign to silence those speaking out in support of democracy - this time by taking six human rights activists from their homes in the middle of the night and allegedly assaulting them:
Among those questioned were Fiji Women’s Rights Movement Virisila Buadromo, her partner, Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua 2006 election candidate Imraz Iqbal and pro-democracy supporters Jacqueline Koroi, Laisa Digitaki and Pita Waqavonovono.
The six were taken from their homes late last night.
It’s alleged soldiers assaulted several of them and made them run from QEB in Nabua to Digitaki's home in Lami to remove banners and placards calling for the return of the country to democracy.
The Fiji Times has more on the incident, without the allegations of assault, but with a chilling warning from Commodore Bainimarama:
He warned members of the public and non government activists that included Fiji Womens Rights Movement executive director Virisila Buadromo, Human right activists Patricia Jalal, journalist Imraz Iqbal and businesswoman Laisa Digitaki to stop saying things that would incite unrest in the country.
He said that these individuals should shut their mouth or else the military would shut it for them and they should not forget the death that had occurred at the military camp on November 2.
The latter is the date of the 2000 post-coup mutiny, though it is not clear whether he is referring to the four soldiers shot during the mutiny... or the four he had beaten to death in the aftermath. But the first part is absolutely clear: the military will not tolerate any dissent, and is willing to use Gestapo tactics to silence it.