25 Sep 2012

Fiji police prevent unionist from flying to China labour conference

11:59 am on 25 September 2012

The president of the Fiji Trades Union Congress says police this morning stopped him from boarding an international flight to attend a world labour conference in Beijing.

Daniel Urai's court case over charges laid almost a year ago of urging political violence was adjourned in May and since then he has had to apply for a permit to leave Fiji.

Mr Urai says despite a court order allowing him to make the trip to China, police took him into custody after he had cleared immigration, saying they had received an order from Suva to stop him from going.

"I asked them what, was I arrested and they said no, we're just trying to clear you, then they said, you can fly. They said I can now go and fly after the plane was taxiing off the tarmac."

Daniel Urai says he is hoping to be able to board this afternoon's flight and will be seeking compensation from the police for his original ticket on his return from China.