6 Dec 2005

Moonie leader refused entry to Fiji

7:33 pm on 6 December 2005

The Fiji government has refused entry to the controversial South Korean preacher, the Reverend Dr Sun Myung Moon, and his wife.

Radio Fiji reports that the Rev Dr Moon's aircraft had to be diverted to Samoa at the last moment when it was refused permission to land at Nadi International Airport today.

The report says the Reverend Dr Moon was expected to meet members of his church congregation at Nadi this week.

His visit to Vanuatu was also cancelled because of a backlash by churches there and delays by the government.

Fiji's opposition leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, says the Reverend is not a criminal or a terrorist to be given such treatment.

Mr Chaudhry says the Reverend Dr Moon is a man dedicated to a mission of peace through the promotion of moral and spiritual values.

He says refusing the Reverend and his wife entry to Fiji is tantamount to denying freedom of association and assembly to their followers.