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“Selective justice in Fiji” (ABC Pacific Beat 19 Aug. 2016)


“Selective justice in Fiji”

Despite all my efforts to reorient myself from my focus on Fiji, events keep happening that cause me real heart-ache at the gross injustices that keep taking place to decent law-abiding citizens who are being prosecuted for minor infringements, while those guilty of far more serious crimes brazenly go free.
The horrifying fact is that under the draconian laws that are a continuation of the unelected military Bainimarama dictatorship’s decrees, the already intimidated media dare not question for fear of prosecution and being found guilty by a judiciary which is dominated by judges from Sri Lanka, where human rights have not been particularly safeguarded  by the judiciary.
These prosecutions and legal judgments are taking place under a constitution that has been imposed on Fiji by the Bainimarama Government which Fiji’s highest courts, the Court of Appeal, found in 2009 to be totally illegal.
In contrast, politically powerful people have gone free, without ever being charged despite a magistrate’s clear findings.  While another politically powerful person was charged by police but, three years later, was discharged by a judge with horrifying reasoning. Then we have a Director of Public Prosecutions (Christopher Pryde) who does not appeal despite having “concerns” about the latter judgement.
While the Chief Justice (Anthony Gates) ignores his own solid and brave judgment in 2001 that no one individual can change a constitution regardless of how powerful or popular he may be, and strangely continues to hire large numbers of even more Sri Lankan judges who continue to make strange judgments.
What is more horrifying is that the institutions which ought to be taking these cases up, such as the Fiji Human Rights Commission, Fiji Media Development Authority, the Fiji Law Society and even the Fiji Medical Association, are totally silent (unless it is in praise of the politically powerful).

ABC News: Pacific Beat (19 Aug. 2016):

When will the decent people in Fiji raise their voices against the injustices taking place?

Are ordinary people’s lives worth nothing?

Is the freedom of the media not worth fighting for?

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