1 Aug 2007

Fiji unionist says military told him he would be killed if summoned to barracks again

8:16 pm on 1 August 2007

A Fiji trade unionist taken in for questioning by the military early today says he was told he and other leading unionists would be killed if they were summoned to the army barracks again.

Taniela Tabu, who is general secretary of the Viti National Union of Taukei Workers, says the military were angry at remarks he had made the previous day calling for the sacking of the interim finance minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, and suggesting that Commodore Bainmarama was not running the country.

Mr Tabu says he was force to strip to his underpants and a panel of army officers gave him a graphic warning.

"Second time you are brought here you will be killed. You will not get out of here alive and also go and inform [fellow unionists] Tevita Koroi, the president of the Fijian Teachers Association and Mr Attar Singh, the general secretary of the Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions, that the three of you, if you are again brought here, you will be killed, you will never leave this place alive."

Mr Tabu was later questioned by police before being released.

His union and several others including the Fijian Teachers Association are to strike from tomorrow.