Solidarity with arrested Fijian activists
CID director expresses solidarity with arrested Fijian activists
The arrest of peaceful protestors in Suva yesterday bodes ill for the future of Fiji," says Council for International Development executive director David Culverhouse.
Those arrested were holding a peaceful vigil, sitting quietly in small separate groups outside the Chinese embassy in Suva. They were supporting people arrested in demonstrations in Tibet. The arrested have now been released but may yet be charged. Fiji's interim Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama recently wrote to China's government, expressing support for the crackdown on protestors in Tibet.
"It is very worrying that the Fiji government is arresting peaceful demonstrators from leading civil society groups. Re-building the damage done to Fiji's economy and society will require the active participation of the civil society groups that those arrested represent," says David Culverhouse.
Among the group arrested were Fiji Human Rights Commissioner Shamima Ali, Claire Slatter, a former coordinator of international women's NGO DAWN; Noelene Nabulivou, coordinator of Women's Action for Change, Tara Chetty and four activists from the Fiji Women's Rights Movement, Edwina Kotoisuva and colleagues from the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre, Jane Keith-Reid and three others from the AIDS Taskforce.
"The Fijian government should drop any charges against these activists and guarantee that peaceful protestors will not be the subject of arrests in the future," says David Culverhouse.