Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Fiji: Still a dictatorship

Today's reminder that Fiji is not a democracy: A Canadian woman living in Fiji appeared before a Parliamentary Select Committee and criticised government policy. So the government deported her:

A Canadian woman living in Fiji has been forcibly deported just hours after appearing before a parliamentary select committee.

Karen Seaton, who holds a Fiji residency permit, was taken from her Suva hotel and forced onto a plane to Los Angeles without any explanation.

You can see exactly how this happened: someone important heard of the evidence and was upset, so they picked up the phone and called in the thugs. Because that's how things work in Fiji: its a dictatorship.

Its not just contemptuous of free speech - it is a clear contempt of parliament (interfering with a committee witness is a slam-dunk contempt, and Fiji nominally shares enough of the Westminster constitutional tradition for that to be the case). But in Fiji, the regime is above the law. Parliament's rules are there to be used against the regime's enemies, not to protect the operation of parliamentary democracy.