Thursday, November 10, 2016

Why are the NZ police working for Fiji's despot?

Radio New Zealand reports this morning that an online critic of Fiji's regime was approached by New Zealand police and warned to tone down his posts:

An advisor to two former Fiji Prime Ministers says the New Zealand police have asked him to tone down his Facebook page which posts messages criticising the current Fiji government.

Shailendra Raju used to work for the deposed prime minister Laisenia Qarase and is involved with the Fiji Labour Party. He now lives in New Zealand.

He said the police approached him in August about his postings.

Mr Raju said he had not broken any laws but now had a mutual understanding with the New Zealand authorities.

Raju's Facebook page is here. He's a racist, anti-Muslim bigot (sadly, Fijian politics has become more racist and bigoted since the coup, on both sides). His numerous posts criticise the government for corruption, disrespect for the rule of law, and attacks on Fiji's indigenous people. But having skimmed back to July, there's no obvious threats of violence or anything which could be considered illegal in New Zealand. Which invites the question: why are the New Zealand Police "warning" people about behaviour which does not violate the law? And isn't this a direct and unlawful interference with the right to freedom of expression?

Criticising the government and saying nasty things about Fiji's Attorney-General may be a crime in Fiji, but it isn't one here. Unless there is a clear incitement to violence in New Zealand, this is none of the police's business.