TRADE UNION OFFICIAL ARRESTED AFTER COMMENTS

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 15) – Fiji’s military took the general secretary of the Fiji Council of Trade Unions, Attar Singh, from his home on Sunday night for comments against the post coup interim administration.

Mr Singh was on Fiji TV earlier in the evening calling for the resignation of the interim prime minister, Commodore Bainimarama, and his administration.

Mr Singh said the Council of Trade Unions had resolved that the interim administration should be run by civilians because this would be more acceptable to the international community.

The trade union body was concerned that aid donors would cut off links with Fiji if the current administration was retained.

Mr Singh has confirmed that he was taken to the military camp near Suva but has refused to comment further.

The military spokesman, Major Neumi Leweni, says Fiji is still under a state of emergency and they will take in those who make negative comments about their clean-up.

The interim attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khayum, confirmed yesterday that certain rights were restricted under the state of emergency.

These included the freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of association and personal liberty.

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