1 Jul 2011

Fiji unionist gives account of alleged military beating

9:22 am on 1 July 2011

A senior union official in Fiji has given details about his beating at the hands of Fiji's military in February this year.

The National Secretary of the Fiji Trades Union Congress, Felix Anthony says after speaking out on the sugar industry, he was ordered to one of the mills in Ba for a meeting.

Instead he says he was yelled at by interim Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

Mr Anthony says after the Commodore left, senior military officers took Mr Anthony and his colleagues in to a room for questioning one by one.

Mr Anthony says the most senior officer involved was from the Prime Minister's office.

"They didn't have weapons but they started punching and kicking. It was pretty bad. My eardrum was damaged and of course I had other injuries on my back. There were soldiers all around me punching from everywhere they possibly could, probably about five, seven of them."

Mr Anthony's comments come during a visit to New Zealand to discuss increasing curbs on union activity in Fiji.