28 Jan 2013

Fiji parties condemn regime treatment of Father Barr

6:22 am on 28 January 2013

Two political parties in Fiji have condemned the interim government's treatment of a high-profile Australian Catholic priest.

Last Friday, Father Kevin Barr, who has lived in Fiji for 32 years, was given two days to leave Fiji for what the information ministry said was a breach of his work permit.

The breach was not specified and a day later, the expulsion order was cancelled.

The Fiji Labour Party says it regrets Father Barr has been treated in such a reprehensible way and it says it shows the repressive manner in which Fiji continues to be ruled.

The United Peoples Party says the regime leaders have developped utter contempt and disregard for the rights and freedoms of anyone but theirs, likening their approach to Jekyll and Hyde.

Two weeks ago, the interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, texted profanities to Father Barr because he disliked the priest's letter to the editor in the Fiji Sun newspaper.