World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Drugs, Rape Claim In Parliament Siege

See updates and pictures: and:

Have your say:

SUVA: A woman who has escaped from being held captive at Fiji's Parliament claims she was gang-raped for four nights and that drug abuse is rife in the complex, according to media reports today.

Her allegations were reported by the interim military government as the Labour Department revealed that more than 2000 people have lost their jobs since the May 19 seizure of the elected government as hostages.

The Daily Post reported today that a Tailevu woman had claimed she was gang-raped for four consecutive nights while being held in the Parliament complex.

She was not one of about 30 government hostages who have been prisoners for three weeks.

The woman escaped earlier this week and reported to soldiers manning a military checkpoint.

Military intelligence officers said the woman claimed that "immoral activities such as group sex and drug abuse" were going on at the complex, according to the Post.

"The woman was clearly distraught when she arrived at a military checkpoint asking soldiers to take her home," an officer said.

"She said she was gang raped.

"She also told us that she was not the only woman subjected to these sexual activities."

The intelligence officer claimed that a group of men were "caught in the act" in the office of the Speaker of the House, "which is air-conditioned, carpeted and with various amenities", the Daily Post said.

Ratu Rakuita Vakalalabure, legal adviser to rebel leader George Speight, denied the allegations, claiming the "stories are a fabrication".

"It sounds to me like typical military propaganda to [paint] a bad picture of us," Ratu Rakuita told the Daily Post.

Meanwhile, figures collated from a Labour Department survey showed that top of the redundancy list was the garment industry with 684 workers laid off in the 48 factories surveyed.

Mark Halabe, president of the Fiji Footwear Clothing and Textiles Association, blamed what was described in the Fiji Times as a "massive decline" on the Fiji Trades Union Congress call for an international trade ban on the country.

Trade unionists have "rubbished" claims by the Fiji Employers Federation of a split in the ranks of the trade union movement over international trade reprisals against Fiji over the hijacking of the country's democratic system.

The FTUC accused the federation of making false claims to weaken their campaign for trade bans against the military regime.

A FEF statement yesterday said "leading figures" in the FTUC did not agree with the "hard-line" policy of general secretary Felix Anthony, according to the Fiji Times.

Fijian Aviation Workers Association general secretary Attar Singh said the FEF claim was "absolute garbage".

"My union is tourism based and thrives only on democracy and a stable political environment," Singh said, adding that all FTUC executives had taken part in the trade ban decision.

As well as redundancies, the Labour Department said employers had implemented other measures such as reduced hours, voluntary leave and rotational basis systems.

The survey would be updated on a weekly basis, the department said in a statement.

The hotel industry recorded 479 redundancies of the 31 hotels surveyed.

The furniture industry which relies heavily on overseas markets, lost 452 workers since the attempted coup day for the 13 companies surveyed.

This was followed by other manufacturers who laid off 405 workers from 33 factories.

In an editorial, the Fiji Times said: "The job loss statistics are alarming. And this is only the beginning."

Instead of blaming the Speight-led attempted coup for the loss of about 200 jobs a day, the newspaper pushed blame onto the unions.

"While the current political crisis is at the root of the problem, it is the trade sanctions imposed by the offshore trade unions which have worsened the economic situation," the editorial said.

"The bans have cut off the lifeline to the offshore market which allows local industries to continue their operations - and maintain their workforce."


This document is for educational and research use only. Recipients should seek permission from the copyright source before reprinting. PASIFIK NIUS service is provided by the niusedita via the Journalism Program, University of the South Pacific. Please acknowledge Pasifik Nius:

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Swing States: Gordon Campbell On Why The US Needs MMP

After the bizarre events this week in Helsinki, the world will be hoping and praying that the US midterm elections in November can put a restraining brake on the presidency of Donald Trump. This may happen, but there’s a highly undemocratic reason why such hopes may be frustrated. More>>


putin, trump scalpGordon Campbell: On The White House Romance With Russia

Tough on Europe over trade, at the G-7. Tough on Europe over defence, at NATO. And utterly smitten as usual by Vladimir Putin at the Helsinki summit. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On This Week’s NATO Debacle

For someone routinely cast as a clown presiding over an administration in chaos, Donald Trump has been very consistent about his agenda, and remarkably successful in achieving it, in the short term at least. More>>


NZ Law Society: Rule Of Law Threatened In Nauru

“The recently enacted Administration of Justice Act 2018 is another clear sign of the deterioration of civil rights in Nauru,” the Law Society’s Rule of Law Committee convenor Austin Forbes QC says. More>>


'Fixing' Family Separation: Executive Order Imprisons Families Indefinitely

Amnesty: President Trump signed an executive order today mandating for children to stay with their parents in detention while their asylum claims are processed. More>>