28 Jun 2011

ILO concerned about alleged attacks on Fiji union leader by military

6:59 pm on 28 June 2011

The International Labour Organisation has expressed its serious concern to Fiji's interim regime about a series of alleged beatings and intimidation of union leaders.

The general secretary of the Fiji Trades Union Congress Felix Anthony is alleged to have been beaten by the military in March.

The ILO representative in Suva, David Lamotte, says the President of the Ba Branch of the Fiji Sugar and General Workers Union, Mohammed Khalil, is alleged to have been attacked by two military personnel on the 22nd of this month.

Mr Lamotte says he has been in touch with Mr Khalil following the alleged assault.

"I have personally inquired into Mr Khalil's wellbeing. I am told that he is OK and he is in shock and has taken a week's sick leave. The ILO is now working with our international partners to look at a more comprehensive strategy in how we respond to these issues."

Mr Lamotte says he has requested meetings with the interim government on the matter and the ILO has suggested a high level delegation also travels to Suva to meet government officials.