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Fiji freedom movement shocked by video

March 7, 2013

The alledged torture video has also upset members of the Australian based Fijian community.

Fiji freedom movement shocked by video (Credit: ABC)

And as Pacific Correspondent Campbell Cooney reports, they’re also upset by the news that Fiji’s Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum has been allowed to enterAustralia.

Presenter:Campbell Cooney

Speaker:Tui Savu the legal representative of the Australian based Fiji Freedom and Democracy Movement


COONEY: While its membership’s based in Australia the Fiji Freedom and Democracy Movement’s been a constant critic of the actions of their country’s military-backed regime and its leaders and the leaking of the alleged torture video has got them upset.
Based in Broome Tui Savu is the movement’s legal representative:
SAVU: I saw the video and when I started watching my body just started squirming up. I was really sad that the police have gone back to the brutality that at one time had been cleaned of the Fiji police force. It’s very obvious that the person who’s leaked that must have had some guilt because it was definitely taken by someone, home movie, police officers were fully aware of, because at times when they were speaking Fijian they would tell one of the victims to look at the camera. So very obviously they were aware that someone was taking the photo. I didn’t think that they would have been aware that it would have been leaked.
COONEY: The language being spoken during the video was Fijian. What other things are being said?
SAVU: Well they’re swearing at him, they’re saying oh why did you run away and asking which leg was used in committing the offence or running away. And you see them targeting the ankle. These are things that are being said. You saw former parliamentarian Sam Speight saying the same treatment that he received at the hands of the military. And also in my interviewing some of the former C.O.Ws, that’s the same treatment that they received, just hitting, this was by the military then, hitting at the ankles, trying to force them on their knees so they can damage their leg that they cannot use to walk on anymore.
COONEY: The alleged torture video has become public at the same time that it’s been confirmed the second most powerful man in Fiji’s regime, Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, has been allowed to enter Australia in the face oftravel bans against members of the country’s military, its government and members of their family.
The office of Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr says Mr Sayed-Khaiyum stayed in Sydney on Sunday night on his way back to Fiji on Monday, returning from a conference in Spain. When asked why this was not a breach of those sanctions, Mr Carr’s office said in a statement:
RICE: “There is flexibility for the granting of temporary waivers to the sanctions regime in the interest of Australia’s foreign policy. In this instance a temporary waiver was granted for the sole purpose of permitting the catching of a transit flight to Fiji. The decision is consistent with the published agreement at the Australia and New Zealand Fiji Trilateral in July 2012 for more flexible implementation of travel sanctions on a case-by-case basis.”
COONEY: But that temporary waiver has disappointed the democracy movement.
SAVU: I’m so disappointed in Senator Bob Carr. Here you’ve got a government trying its appeasement policy with this brutal military regime. This man has committed treason, he’s the one that’s responsible for all the decrees, he’s fully aware of the brutality that’s being inflicted by the military, and the Fiji police. And for the Australian government to put out the red carpet to allow this man into the country I think is not only the height of hypocrisy, but it puts groups like the Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement and all concerned Fijian citizens, we’re angry and outraged that this man should be allowed into the country.
Source- Radio Australia, Posted by Rusi Varani for SWM
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