Suspended Nauru MP has passport seized
A former Nauru cabinet minister, suspended by the current government, is detained and his passport is confiscated.
Nauru's former finance minister, Roland Kun, has been stopped from leaving the island on Wednesday with his passport confiscated.
Mr Kun is one of five MPs suspended from Parliament more than a year ago.
He did not take part in this week's protest actions at Parliament aimed at having the suspended MPs re-instated to parliament, to ensure there is some scrutiny of government actions.
But a colleague and former justice minister, Mathew Batsiua, was arrested on Tuesday and held in custody for more than 24 hours.
Because his Australian born wife has been denied a visa by the current government, Mr Kun says he and his family have been living in Wellington in New Zealand.
Don Wiseman asked him how long he had been back on the island.
ROLAND KUN: I got back on the island on Sunday and was to be travelling through Australia back to New Zealand today, but I was not allowed because government had cancelled my passport.
DON WISEMAN: Do we know why?
RK: No reason was provided. I have a passport that is valid intil October 2016 and with no reason provided they just cancelled my passport.
DW: Were you involved in the protests yesterday and today?
RK: No I was not involved in the protest and I suppose that is a source of frustration on the part of the government because they probably were hoping that they would be able to have me in prison like my colleague Mathew Batsiua.
DW: The reason I ask was do you think that this is in any way connected to your passport being confiscated?
RK: I can't imagine how they can make such a connection. I've asked whether they're charging me with anything and they've said no, they're not charging me with anything.
DW: As far as you know, there's been nothing untoward that's happened?
RK: No not that I know of.
DW: No issues came up when you arrived in the country on Sunday?
RK: When I arrived int he country on Sunday it was raised to me that I was still on an old passport and Nauru had moved to electronic passports. And I told them that I was aware of that, I have been travelling on that same passport, and I had never had an issue with other jurisdictions. But on the following day I did lodge an application for passport renewal. That application was rejected by the same secretary for justice who has purported to cancel by current passport.
DW: And rejected for what reason?
RK: No reason provided.
DW: Why would they want to keep you in Nauru, they would see you as a thorn in their side wouldn't they?
RK: I cannot imagine apart from the fact they know that they have already denied my family access to Nauru, by denying my wife access to Nauru. I have a young family I have an 18 month old child. They know that I am the full-time caregiver in the period that we're being held in exile and they're denying me access to my family by not allowing me out of the island. And I can only imagine that their motivation is to put my family in difficulty.
DW: For what reason?
RK: For, unfortunately it seems very childish, but for basic spite.
DW: So how are you feeling anyway?
RK: I'm very frustrated, I am very saddened by this situation. My family were expecting me back with them by tonight in Wellington and obviously I'm not going to be with my family. The next flight out of Nauru is Friday and I'm not even sure whether I would be able to sort out my passport by Friday given they have already rejected my earlier application for a passport and for passport renewal, and they've cancelled my current and last passport.
DW: On what grounds can they refuse your passport?
RK: As far as I know there are no legal grounds for them to refuse me a passport, but then the Waqa government is not known for observing law. So as disapointed as I am, I am not actually surprised they go to this extent.
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