9 Aug 2012

Amnesty calls on Fiji to release Qarase from jail

1:54 pm on 9 August 2012

Amnesty International is calling on Fiji to immediately release the ousted Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, from prison.

Qarase last week received 12 months for six charges of abuse of office and six months for three charges relating to discharge of duty as a public servant, to be served concurrently at Korovou Prison.

Megan Whelan reports.

"Amnesty says it is concerned that the charges against Qarase were politically motivated. The organisation believes that Qarase may have been imprisoned solely for his political beliefs and his opposition to the military government. Amnesty is also concerned about other individuals facing trial, including Daniel Urai, the President of the Fiji Trade Union Congress, who is charged with sedition, and Mere Samisoni, a former politician, who is charged with trying to overthrow the government. It is calling on the Fiji government to immediately and unconditionally release Laisenia Qarase if he is being held because of his political beliefs, and to ensure that Daniel Urai and Mere Samisoni receive a fair trial."