5 Dec 2016

Canadian forcibly deported from Fiji

5:25 pm on 5 December 2016

A Canadian woman living in Fiji has been forcibly deported just hours after making a verbal submission to a parliamentary select committee.

fiji flag at parliament

Photo: RNZI/ Sally Round

Karen Seaton, who holds a Fiji residency permit, addressed the committee on Friday on behalf of expat landowners affected by changes to the Land Sales Act.

Act 16 requires all non-resident land owners to have constructed a $US120,000 dollar house by the end of the year or pay a fine every six months of 10 percent of the value of their land.

Miss Seaton said she was taken from her hotel room in Suva by immigration officials and forced onboard a flight to Los Angeles.

"They broke into the room and at that point I made a formal request for an ambassador. It was denied. They forcibly twisted my arm to remove my phone from me and they forcibly took my purse from me to take my passports. At one point I asked why was I being deported and she said it's from the highest authority in the nation," said Karen Seaton.

Miss Seaton said act 16 amounts to race based land seizure reminiscent of policies enacted by the Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe.

She said worried expats were selling their land at a fraction of its original cost to local Fijians.