25 Jan 2007

Fiji NGO closes its office and its director goes into hiding after visit from military.

11:21 am on 25 January 2007

The director of a Suva-based NGO has gone into hiding and its office has closed temporarily.

The Pacific Centre of Public Integrity closed its office for one week for the safety of its staff after soldiers arrived looking for its director, Angie Heffernan.

The soldiers visited the office after failing to find Ms Heffernan at her home.

The chair of the PCPI, Suliana Siwatibau, is quoted as saying she assumes some comments by Ms Heffernan in the media may have triggered the military's visit.

The military spokesman, Major Neumi Leweni, has confirmed that soldiers visited Ms Heffernan's home because she had made comments which the military viewed as inciting.

Major Leweni says soldiers are no longer looking for Ms Heffernan but she could come to the army camp if she wishes because she knows the military would like to speak with her.

Earlier this week, soldiers took Suva layer Richard Naidu from his home and cautioned him after he made what the military labelled as inciting remarks.