21 Apr 2008

Official of deposed Fiji political party says ban on him travelling is a farce

7:40 pm on 21 April 2008

Fiji Police say they are investigating why a senior official of the SDL Party, the party of the deposed Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, was stopped from leaving the country at the weekend.

Peceli Kinivuwai was stopped from flying to Australia by an immigration officer based on a handwritten, unsigned letter purporting to be from the police commissioner Esala Teleni.

The Immigration Department, the issuing authority of travel bans, says Kinivuwai has been on a watch-list since early 2007.

But Mr Kinivuwai argued that he has traveled to China and Canberra in Australia since.

He says he was angered that such a document could stop people from travelling.

It had no letterhead and police have denied that such a directive came from them..

He says the issue is not about his travel ban anymore but about the continuation of human rights violations, despite assurances from the interim regime.

Mr Kinivuwai says it's proof the interim government's charter is a farce.

Police have denied that the document was from Mr Teleni.