Nine To Noon has a regular slot with journalist Michael Field in which he gives his take on the news from the Pacific. In this morning's interview, he discussed the situation in Fiji (starts at 5:35). And what he said was frightening:
I know of two people this week who have been hauled up to the barracks. They don't want their affiliations known, their employers don't want their affiliations known, because they are terrified. But one of them who rang me later and pleaded with me not to do any story about it said that as that person sat in the barracks they received a phone call and the soldiers were told to apply light torture to this person. There were instructions coming. "Light torture" in this case involved apparently pulling the persons ears severely and slapping them. It's publicly known that a politician the other day was beaten up. People are absolutely terrified...
One of his worries is that the immediate response is "please don't tell anybody" - something which plays into the hands of the military and allows them to get away with further abuses. Meanwhile, the New Zealand government has taken its eye of the ball and is now staying quiet about the increasing level of human rights abuses. It shouldn't be doing this. Instead, it should be speaking up to condemn them, and working to mobilise our neighbours in condemning it as well.