4 Mar 2003

Fiji Government says deportation details too sensitive to be made public

7:49 pm on 4 March 2003

The Fiji Government says a report on the Muslim cleric deported from the country nearly two weeks ago is too sensitive to be released for public information.

The secretary for home affairs, Colonel Jeremiah Waqanisau, has told the Fiji Sun newspaper the government had made a commitment to those who provided them with information and they would stick to that.

Muslim cleric and Sudanese national Abdul Majid was deported from Fiji on security grounds.

He was taken from his Suva home by an immigration official and several policemen in a raid just after midnight and given 30 minutes to leave the country.

The deportation drew strong criticism from Fiji's Muslim community, the Labour and National Federation parties and some individuals.

He says protecting sensitive information for security purposes is a practice followed all over the world.

Mr Majid and a Saudi Arabian friend were alleged to have taken a photograph of the American Embassy in Samoa last year and were questioned by Vanuatu security officials on their arrival in Port Vila.