Thursday, January 18, 2007

Fiji: defying the courts

One of the big questions about Fiji is what the military and interim regime will do if the courts rule that their appointment was illegal (as they are likely to do if anyone challenges it - as Qarase is expected to this afternoon). Unfortunately there's a foretaste in the treatment of Fiji Sugar Cane Growers Council chief executive, Jagannath Sami. Sami was purportedly sacked by the military in the aftermath of the coup, but challenged his dismissal in court. Yesterday, the High Court in Lautoka ordered that he be reinstated pending a full hearing into the situation next week, but he was stopped from returning to work by soldiers. Sami then gained an interim order barring the military from threatening, annoying, or harassing him or council staff. The military responded this morning by sending armed soldiers to detain him, despite the assurances of the interim Attourney-General that the court orders would be respected. The upshot seems to be that despite the purported return to civilian rule, the military is still firmly in charge, and will abrogate the rule of law when it suits them.

Update: It gets worse: Sami has reportedly been rushed to hospital after he "fell" while in military custody. These people are thugs, pure and simple.


This sickens me, even though I know this brutality and mindless thuggery occurs every hour of every day in the unhappy parts of the world. I suppose it's the sense of powerlessness, that this is happening in our backyard and we can do little to prevent it from continuing.

There are some very brave people in Fiji reporting the situation on the ground, despite the threats. They all deserve our support and congratulations, as do you I/S for being one of the few (if not the only one) blogs to be covering this regularly.

Posted by Anonymous : 1/18/2007 09:09:00 PM