A member of the former Fijian government has arrived in Australia seeking a protection Australia Visa.
07 March 2011
Former Fijian Minister seeking asylum Australia Visa
A former Fijian government minister will seek political asylum in Australia after being arrested and allegedly interrogated and beaten for three days by soldiers.
Samisoni Speight Tikoinasau was in the cabinet of the deposed Qarase government. He was arrested after distributing an anti-regime DVD to villagers in his former electorate. The DVD was produced by a Canberra-based Fijian blogger.
Amnesty International has reported an increase in violence and intimidation this year against opponents of the regime of coup leader and dictator Frank Bainimaramam, who took power in 2006.
Mr Tikoinasau said there was a growing pro-democracy movement in Fiji, despite widespread fears of Commodore Bainimarama and his military and their control of the media.
Mr Tikoinasau was treated at a Brisbane hospital after he entered the country on a tourist visa, and he said he planned to apply for a protection Australia Visa.