Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Rewarding dictatorship

So, having publicly opposed the Fijian coup, the New Zealand government will be allowing Fijian dictator Voreqe Bainimarama to visit this weekend:

The Prime Minister of Fiji Frank Bainimarama will be in New Zealand this weekend to raise funds for his political party and meet members of Fiji's expatriate community.

It will be the leader's first trip to New Zealand since he seized power in the 2006 coup.

Sally Round reports.

"It's understood security officials from Fiji are in the country to check out the South Auckland venue for what is being billed as a FijiFirst Festival featuring entertainment, food stalls and the chance to meet the former military commander. Rear Admiral Bainimarama has been campaigning for the September polls under the banner of his newly registered party, FijiFirst.

And no doubt, the SIS will be assisting them to round up or intimidate opponents of the regime.

This is not something we should be allowing. Bainimarama has cancelled elections before, and it may happen again if he thinks he isn't going to win. Or he may simply fix them. Either way, we should not be removing travel sanctions against him and his regime until we have seen free and fair elections. Until then, the only reason we should be allowing him into the country is so we can arrest him and put him on trial for the torture committed by his regime.