Former Nauru MP Barred From Seeking Urgent Medical Treatment

Had been reissued passport by the court but the Justice Minister personally intervened

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 29, 2016) – A former president of Nauru says the government has cancelled his passport to prevent him from seeking urgent medical treatment overseas.

Sprent Dabwido, who has been charged with other former MPs for their alleged role in a protest outside parliament in 2015, says the court allowed him to travel and issued him his passport.

However, on appearing at the airport yesterday for his flight, he was told that the Justice Minister, David Adeang, had personally intervened and cancelled the passport.

Mr Dabwido told Alex Perrottet his doctor has told him his heart condition is life-threatening.

He says Mr Adeang is evil.

TRANSCRIPT

SPRENT DABWIDO: And they finally released my passport on the 26th that is this Friday that just passed. And um I book myself Saturday to fly on Sunday and while at the airport the director of immigration told me my passport has been cancelled on the 16th. I never knew about this so it is an unfair system if you ask me where the, when the actual government does the job of the courts. Those are the ones who should have a concern for me going overseas and coming back. It should never be the government. The government has put me in the hands of the courts, I have satisfied the courts that I will come go and get a medical treatment and come back. But for the government to do this it is very unfair and very bordering on evil that they are basically saying they are God and you can die.

ALEX PERROTTET: You said you have had a check up with your doctor I mean what has he said about your state of health and how urgent it is?

SD: Yes on the fourth of August I went for another check up at the hospital. The doctor said you are in a, your condition is worsening. He has put me back on pills for cholesterol which means that my, the blockage in my heart some where is getting worse. So he is trying to help keep those clear. But he is still saying to me your life is at risk everyday so keep on these pills but you must really fly to Australia to do a test that will actually help identify where the blockage is or the hardening of the arteries are and then have it operated on if you can.

AP: You are saying the minister of justice David Adeang has intervened here and is preventing you from flying by personally cancelling that passport?

SD: That is correct. According to the acting secretary for justice when I asked him, 'why has my passport been cancelled? Why didn't you tell me this when I was asked or fighting for it in court?' He said, 'Oh the minister just...' So I said, 'which minister?' (he said) 'The minister for justice.'  So he has personally told you people to cancel it while I was fighting for it in court? Yes. Is that right? He said whether it is right or wrong I have to take the minister to court. And I have been in court for the past three weeks everyday sometimes twice a day trying to get this passport not knowing it was cancelled while I was fighting for it legally. You know I am surprised that they can allow a evil person to do this kind of thing. Without even trying to tell him that you know you are interfering with the court system. This government has a policy where they attend everybody's funeral on the island whether it is the president or the madame or the minister of justice himself. And if my heart should give way before I have this treatment I really would love the government to know that I do not want them anywhere near my funeral that is all I ask of them.  

Sprent Dabwido says he is applying for a new passport.

In addition to Mr Dabwido 19 others have had their travel documents cancelled by David Adeang.

They include two other former MPs, Squire Jeremiah and Mathew Batsiua.

All had allegedly taken part in the anti government protest at Parliament in 2015.

Last year the Nauru Government seized the passport of another MP, Roland Kun, but he escaped from the island using a New Zealand passport. 

Radio New Zealand International
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