Monday, December 11, 2006

Fiji: crushing dissent

The Fijian military has started crasking down on opposition, with those who speak out for democracy being taken to the military barracks by armed soldiers:

"When we hear or it is reported that some individual is attempting to make some statement that we see as inciting or could create problems, we will call the individuals in and speak to them," said Maj Neumi Leweni, a military spokesman.

He said those who refused to go voluntarily would be "persuaded by other means".

FijiLive reports that some taken in by soldiers have been threatened, abused, and "told to do press-ups and made to round around a rugby field". Others, particularly human rights advocates, have received threatening phone calls, apparently from soldiers. Meanwhile, soldiers have broken into the "democracy shrine" in Suva and demolished its placards. I guess they didn't like the message it was sending.