Friday, January 26, 2007

Fiji: "inciteful"

The Fijian military is currently hunting for pro-democracy activist Laisa Digitaki over an "inciteful" statement she made regarding her detention in December. The statement is an account of the abuse and beating received at the hands of the military's thugs - and it is harrowing reading:

The soldier made some calls on his walkie talkie. He than advised me to run with him to a place he called the officer's mass which was about I00meters away from the guardhouse. He led me to this semi open hall which was in total darkness. As we entered I noticed the silhouette of I person standing in the hall which turned out to be Virisila Buadromo. As I moved closer to talk to her, I heard a man's voice call out that Virisila move some I0 meters away from me. I saw another silhouette of a man standing across the hall from me. I could not see their faces as it was very dark.


One of them moved closer to me, he would be the same height as me but with a bigger and firmer built. He wore a hat pulled down to about eye level but I couldn't make out who he was as it was too dark. His voice sounded familiar to that of Pita Driti. He lifted his arm and cocked a hand gun on my face and asked me whether I knew that sound. I answered that I did. I could see the silhouette of the hand gun from the spec of light from a far off tube light at the top left hand corner of the building we were in. He then ordered me to sit on the floor at the spot where I was standing.


After being interrogated for about 30 minutes, we were then ordered to run to the ground directly opposite the officer's mass. We were led down the road onto the steps to the ground up to a cement pitch which I presume is the cricket pitch. We were told to lie face down with our arms beside us and chin up. One of the soldiers asked me whether I was pregnant of which I said I was not sure. A pair of boots immediately jumped onto my lower and middle back and bounced on it for a few seconds.

The soldiers started calling us names and were swearing at us. One of them walked to our faces and told us to kiss his boots which we did. One of the soldiers started accusing me personally and mentioned Naisoro (a friend and colleague during the SIDL election campaign), Chang (a friend and a business client of my PR company) and Weleilakeba (my ex?husband and now a live?in partner) and asked, "so how many other men have you f*&*ed? He accused me of stealing money from Chang and blamed me for corruption. I could feel boots running over my body followed by kicks on my sides and slaps on my face. Another soldier slammed my neck and than my face against the cement with his boots. I turned my head to the right in pain while he trembled my face on the ground causing my cheek to graze against the cement ground. I felt a toad placed between my thighs and I heard a soldier say that a toad be given to Virisila to hold. She was lying face down next to me on my right and Imraz on my left. Imraz was then told to crawl a distance forward and back again while they kicked him.

(Emphasis added; reformatted for space)

If this is inciteful, then it damn well ought to be. The soldiers responsible for this should be facing criminal charges of assault and threatening to kill. Instead, they have been granted impunity.


This is just horrorfying. New Zealand should help get these people out of Figi and give them refugee status. I'm totally disgusted.

Posted by Muerk : 1/26/2007 12:36:00 PM

Unfortunately, in addition to being hunted by the military, they're also subject to a travel ban - as are many others who have spoken out or refused to cooperate with the military regime.

What is it afraid of? That someone will say Bad Things about them overseas?

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 1/26/2007 01:36:00 PM