FIJI BEATING VICTIM WAS DISTRIBUTING SENSITIVE

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Former Qarase cabinet minister badly beaten by military

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Feb. 28, 2011) - A pro democracy activist and the producer of a political DVD circulating in Fiji says the film’s an attempt to get around Fiji’s strict media censorship rules.

Suliasi Daunitutu has been circulating the DVD from his Canberra base via intermediaries in Fiji including former politician, Samasoni Tikonisau.

Mr. Tikonisau is recovering in Australia after being beaten up by military officers last week for distributing the information.

[PIR editor’s note: The Fiji Regime was not responding to inquiries about Samisoni Tikonisau, a former Cabinet minister of the deposed Qarase government, who was detained at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks for three days last week. "Amnesty International says it has grave concerns for the safety of activists and government critics in Fiji and the human rights situation in Fiji is worsening." Former parliamentarians and trade unionists were also taken to the barracks for questioning.]

Mr. Daunitutu says the film is aimed at rural people in particular.

He says they’re enjoying new infrastructure but don’t know both sides of the story behind it.

"From their perspective, this government is a very good government because of the developments that are coming to them. They don’t know that behind these developments, there’s a lot of loans that have been made, there’s a lot of corruption, a lot of nepotism going on. To them the only thing they see is development."

Suliasi Daunitutu says he’s educating people first so they’ll be keen to take part in an anti-government protest he’s planning, timed to piggy back on protests in the Middle East.

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