15 Mar 2013

Protesters march over videoed beating in Fiji

8:35 pm on 15 March 2013

Fijians living in New Zealand are calling for tougher sanctions to end the military-backed rule of Fiji's prime minister, Frank Bainimarama.

Pro-democracy protests were held in Auckland and Wellington on Friday, sparked by a video of two recaptured prisoners being brutally beaten by the Fiji security forces.

Marchers urged shoppers to boycott holidays in Fiji and to put pressure on its government to end torture and return to democracy.

One of the organisers, Frank Rabanakadavu,says the New Zealand government should impose tougher sanctions and the United Nations should stop using Fiji peacekeepers.

He says Fijians overseas need to speak up for democracy because their families at home are too scared to.

About 40 expatriates marched in Auckland and another 20 protested outside Fiji's high commission in Wellington.

Labour Party leader David Shearer and other MPs joined the Auckland march, along with representatives of trade unions and Amnesty International.