10 Nov 2011

ILO viewing Fiji union leaders' detention very seriously

7:25 am on 10 November 2011

The head of the Pacific Islands arm of the International Labour Organisation, David Lamotte, says it's viewing the detention and prosecution of Fiji union leaders very seriously.

The president of the Fiji Trades Union Congress, Daniel Urai, was released on bail yesterday on the condition that he report to the Lautoka Police Station every day and observe an evening curfew.

He faces charges under the interim regime's crimes decree of urging political violence.

Police have been holding the congress's general secretary Felix Anthony since last Friday but haven't laid any charges yet.

Mr Lamotte, who was in court for Mr Urai's hearing, says he's keeping the main ILO office in Geneva abreast of the situation.

"The matter is already being considered by the committee of experts which met last week in Geneva and it's being discussed literally on a daily basis by the governing body of the organisation which is meeting now. And they'll be coming out with a statement about what the next steps are from the position of the ILO. But it's serious, it's very serious."

David Lamotte says Daniel Urai is due back in court on November the 29th.