2 Aug 2007

Fiji trade unionist fears for his safety

10:57 am on 2 August 2007

A Fiji trade unionist says he wants the international community to take note in case he is hurt.

Taniela Tabu, general secretary of the Viti National Union of Taukei Workers, was taken to the military barracks early yesterday morning.

He says he was abused, forced to strip to his underwear, and told by military officers that if he and other leading trade unionists were summoned to the barracks again they would not leave alive.

"I want to just inform the United Nations, inform international union organisations and the various embassies in Fiji you know to take note of this in case one of us is killed or murdered."

Mr Tabu was later questioned by police before being released.

The commander of the 3rd Battalion Fiji Infantry Regiment, which is in charge of security around the greater Suva area, has denied making any threats.

The Fiji Sun quotes Colonel Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara as saying they don't go around threatening and they did not threaten Mr Tabu.