28 Feb 2011

Former Fiji politician glad to have escaped country

8:58 am on 28 February 2011

A former Fiji politician, who was beaten savagely by members of the Fiji military last week, says he is glad he got out of Fiji in one piece.

Samisoni Tikonisau, a former Cabinet minister of the deposed Qarase government, was detained at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks for three days last week.

Mr Tikonisau, also known as Sam Speight, says during his interrogration, he was constantly questioned about a DVD circulating in Fiji from a group in Australia seeking to restore democracy in Fiji.

Mr Tikonisau says as soon as he was released, his family, fearing for his life, organised for him to be flown to Australia for treatment.

He says he heard that not long after he left Fiji, the military started searching for him.

"There were reports that they were coming after me again and to the extend there was a raid on our SDL party office in Suva and I understand it is totally shut down now and they took away the computers and files and all that."

Samisoni Tikonisau says he knows that former parliamentarians and trade unionists were also taken to the barracks.

The military referred inquiries to Mr Tikonisau's detention to the information ministry.

The information ministry has so far declined to comment.