11 Jan 2010

Fiji human rights lawyer says Bainimarama regime worse than Rabuka rule

6:28 am on 11 January 2010

A prominent international human rights lawyer in Fiji, who is being taken to court by the anti-corruption agency, says the Bainimarama regime is more vindictive than the Rabuka dictatorship.

Imrana Jalal, who is a member of the International Commission of Jurists, says as a human rights lawyer she would be naive to think she wouldn't be targetted by those with military power.

She says she was prosecuted for demonstrating against the Rabuka regime in 1988 but the recent treatment by the Bainamarama interim government has been worse.

"Here I'm being prosecuted for charges that are unrelated in any way whatsoever. And my family is being persecuted because of me. That is callous, that is underhand. Stopping my five-year old from travelling to see his grandparents in Brisbane on the 12th of December is callous, it's contemptible."

Imrana Jalal says people in Fiji are tired and just want to get on with their lives.

She says if there were public opposition, it wouldn't be known because of the regime's control of the media.