Fiji Brutality Protest Wellington
Wellington Protest Against Fiji Security Forces - Friday 15 March
By Mark P. Williams
Today saw twin protests in both Auckland and Wellington against Police brutality and human rights abuses by the Fijian regime of Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, better known as Frank Bainimarama.
The protest was the culmination of activism by a mixture of groups and sparked by the recent exposure of violence against prisoners by Fijian security personnel. The Wellington protest was organised by blogger and activist Sai Lealea who led the speakers outside the Fiji High Commission. Groups represented included the Council of Trade Unions, the Green Party and Amnesty international who have all condemned the Fijian regime.
Amnesty International has called for an independent investigation and released an open letter; Amnesty's open letter can be accessed here. The NZCTU has been campaigning strongly for recognition of worker's rights and labour standards in Fiji and demanded that the Bainimarama regime recognise human rights at work. The Green Party has also insisted that the New Zealand government should use its influence in the region to put pressure on the Fijian government.
Sai Lealea speaking outside the Fiji High Commission
The message from New Zealand's Fijian community was simple: the violence and oppression must stop — they also extended thanks to the New Zealand government, and Phil Goff in particular, for their condemnation of the brutality and solidarity with ordinary Fijians.
Peter Conway of the NZCTU and Green MP Jan Logie extended their solidarity to the Fijian community in New Zealand and in Fiji.
Amnesty International spokesperson calling for international condemnation of the Fijian regime
Peter Conway of the NZCTU
Green Party MP Jan Logie