8 Apr 2009

Fiji's women's rights movement becomes victim of vandal attacks

8:44 am on 8 April 2009

The Fiji's women's rights movement has become the latest victim of vandal attacks against prominent citizens who have voiced concerns about the country's military regime.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports the organisation's Suva office was broken into in a targeted attack to steal a recorder used to store confidential information and conversations.

The movement has openly voiced disappointment that Fiji's military government, led by Frank Bainimarama, has failed to hold an election more than two years after it staged a bloodless coup.

The organisation's Executive director, Virisila Buadromo, says she believed the organisation was the target of intimidation.

The break-in follows a spate of attacks on the homes and cars of six high-profile pro-democracy Fijians over the past two months.

Jon Fraenkel, a specialist in Pacific politics and economics at the Australian National University, says the record of intimidation in Fiji was growing.

He says it used to be that you could say human rights abuses were confined to the early period after the December 2006 coup.

But he says in the last few months there have been more attacks again and things are getting very difficult.