25 Sep 2012

Fiji unionist says police detention just more harassment

3:23 pm on 25 September 2012

A Fiji unionist prevented by police this morning from flying to a world labour conference in China says they just wanted to harass him.

Daniel Urai, the president of the Fiji Trades Union Congress, says he had cleared immigration when police detained him saying they had had an order from Suva to stop him leaving the country.

Mr 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.

He is hoping to fly to Beijing this afternoon.

"That is something that I'm questioning, what was the point of holding me on and then knowing that I can fly, that there's an afternoon flight? There was no point in the whole thing, it was just harassment, pure harassment, nothing more."

Daniel Urai says his lawyers received an apology from the head of Criminal Investigations, who instructed police to stop him, but he says that's no use to him and he will be seeking compensation for his wasted ticket.