4 Mar 2011

Group calls for international response to Fiji military's abuses

8:52 am on 4 March 2011

A Sydney-based Fiji democracy group says the international community should take the same attitude towards Fiji that it's taking towards Libya.

The Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement says a group of about ten youths were detained by the military in Suva on Saturday after talking about a demonstration proposed for tomorrow.

Its president Usaia Waqatairewa says the young men were beaten, sworn at and humiliated before being released after about three of four hours.

The incident comes as Amnesty International reports at least 10 politicians, trade unionists, government critics and others have been arrested and beaten in the last two weeks.

Mr Waqatairewa says the military crackdown demands a strong response from foreign countries.

"The international community response should be like what they do to Libya right now, put the pressure on human rights, increase economic sanction. The government is almost on its last corner. They should just put more pressure on them to speeden up the process that we could have democracy restored in our country and leadership restored to the people as a matter of their choice."

Usaia Waqatairewa says young people have always been targetted by the military but it often goes undocumented.

The interim government in Fiji is yet to respond to the allegations.