Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant or accept liability for the accuracy or usefulness of the transcripts. These are copied directly from the broadcaster's website.
Law Society head released from detention -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

PETER CAVE: Well, in Suva, the president of the Fiji Law Society Dorsami Naidu has indeed been
released from detention.

He spent 24 hours in custody where he says he was threatened with charges of sedition.

As you've heard, Commodore Frank Bainimarama and his main spokesman have both denied publicly that
anyone has been detained.

Mr Naidu told Michael Vincent that's simply not the case.

DORSAMI NAIDU: I was definitely detained. I mean I couldn't stay at my home, I wasn't allowed to
leave the police station and I am also told that the TV reporter Edwin Nand was released today but
he had been in police custody for the last three days, so you know this question of not being in
detention... I mean, the facts on the ground don't really give light to that.

MICHAEL VINCENT: This morning Prime Minister Bainimarama has said that freedom of speech causes
trouble. How do you feel about freedom of speech in Fiji at the moment?

DORSAMI NAIDU: No, I think there is no freedom of speech. There's total censorship, there's total
blanket cut out of news here that should reach the public at large. I think solely, if you've got
something to hide, I think you'd want to knuckle down on the press and the media etc.

MICHAEL VINCENT: Where do you think Fiji's going to be heading in the next couple of days and
weeks?

DORSAMI NAIDU: Oh I think it's downhill.

I mean the dollar has now been... we've just heard on the radio that the Fiji dollar has been
devalued by the Reserve Bank by 20 per cent against all other currencies, specifically Australia
and New Zealand. So that's going to create, you know, increasing inflation etc. and, you know the
economy - there's no jobs around, very little jobs around.

We don't have a judiciary at the moment and politically I don't know where we're going.

MICHAEL VINCENT: Senior figures across Fiji have told The World Today that they are afraid to
speak; that they don't know what the consequences would be because there is no judiciary.

DORSAMI NAIDU: Oh yes, I mean my members are scared and I've been through it. I know how, you know,
you don't know what is going to happen. You can't go to the courts, whom do you rely on?

I mean, I was lucky in the sense that I had not done anything wrong, anything seditious. I was
functioning as the president of the Fiji Law Society under an act of Parliament, which according to
even the regime is still intact, so I was merely doing my job.

So I can see you know how people feel because when you're in there you don't have any contact with
the outside world, nobody can get in contact with you. You know, it's a tough call.

MICHAEL VINCENT: There appears to be no political opposition at all in Fiji. There appears to be no
ability for anyone to voice their opposition. What other steps do you expect him to take to quell
the scent?

DORSAMI NAIDU: Oh you know, I think he's done enough at the moment and I don't know they'll
probably cut out our communication links. I hope not but, you know, these things can happen.

MICHAEL VINCENT: The Attorney-General was meeting with the heads of amalgamated Telecom Holding
this morning. Could you speculate as to what that meeting may have been about?

DORSAMI NAIDU: I don't know, but at the moment I am told that my Law Society internet connections
aren't working. I am told by my lawyer friends that they're not able to access the internet at the
moment. So you know, my guess is as good as yours.

MICHAEL VINCENT: Do you see Fiji then heading into a total information black out?

DORSAMI NAIDU: Well it appears to be but heaven forbid. You know I don't think all this will get us
anywhere.

PETER CAVE: President of the Fiji Law Society, Dorsami Naidu speaking there to Michael Vincent.