Sixteen of the first people to be charged in a group of sedition cases in Fiji have pleaded not guilty.
The group from Ra appeared in the Lautoka High Court today and pleaded not guilty to sedition and inciting communal antagonism.
The accused are among dozens from the main island Viti Levu alleged to have been involved in setting up breakaway Christian states.
Their lawyer Aman Ravindra Singh says police barred members of the public from the court.
"Police were not allowing family members to come into the court house and on both entrances to the court police had barricaded the place, keeping the gates locked and keeping family members at bay which I found rather disturbing because the constitution allows that people have open access to to justice."
Bail for the accused has been extended and the matter has been adjourned until September 22nd.