3 May 2002

Women's Affair's minister gags staff over abuse comments

2:13 pm on 3 May 2002

Fiji's minister for women's affairs has silenced her assistant, Losena Salabula, after she came under strong public criticism.

The Fiji Times says the minister, Adi Asenaca Caucau, has issued a notice to Mrs Salabula and other staff in her ministry not to talk to the media.

The move came after Mrs Salabula said women were to be blamed for the increasing incidence of incest and child abuse becuase they left home to work.

Mrs Salabula said she had asked the American embassy to stop issuing visas to women seeking work in the United States.

The comments and actions have drawn widespread criticism from the Women's Crisis Centre, poltical parties and the general public.

Mrs Salabula's gagging concides with Media Freedom Day.