12 Mar 2010

Fiji regime imposes silence on Rinakama fate

10:22 am on 12 March 2010

The Fiji interim regime is refusing to take any questions about the fate of a former parliamentarian, Peceli Rinakama, who was reportedly seized by soldiers a week ago.

His detention and disappearance have not been reported by the Fiji media, which operate under censorship imposed by the information ministry for the past 11 months.

The military command says questions about Mr Rinakama have to be directed to the permanent secretary for information, Lieutenant Colonel Neumi Leweni, who in turn refuses all comment on the matter.

The Australia-based Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement has expressed its concern about the disappearance of Mr Rinakama, whose family has also been left in the dark about his whereabouts.

It holds fears for his well-being given the military's human rights violations since the 2006 coup.

The Movement is also concerned about the lack of news and coverage by Fiji's media.