Remove excessive authoritarian immigration powers: NFP President

December 7, 2016

MEDIA RELEASE

The NFP President, Roko Tupou Draunidalo has called for the removal of the excessive powers given to the Minister responsible for the Immigration Department, which infringes on basic civil and political rights.

These include ending the willful deportation of individuals without any recourse to redress and the removal of the “black-list” which prevents former and current Fiji Citizens from returning to Fiji, the land of their birth.

Ms Draunidalo said the arbitrary and humiliating deportation of Koro Island resident and investor Karen Seaton for allegedly uttering a swear word to a public official, but which is not confirmed by any independent witness, reeks of a typical authoritarian and dictatorial methodology.

“The Immigration Director then confirms that it is the acting Prime Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum who signed off on the deportation order,” said Ms Draunidalo.

“This is the same minister who as Minister for Economy glowingly tells the whole world that Fiji is great for business, or as Attorney-General – that Fiji fully conforms to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.”

“The deportation of Karen Seaton and prior to that the deportation in September of two consultants from MWH Global, the lead contractor for the Fiji Roads Authority – is deeply worrying and troublesome.”

“The acting Prime Minister and Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum is fully responsible for these and must inform the people of Fiji as to why he feels the need to be authoritarian in declaring individuals persona non grata, without much of a thought.”

“He must also come out and explain why he is adamant that Professor Brij Lal and his wife Dr Padma Lal, should not return to their country and homeland, Fiji.”

The NFP President reaffirmed that the NFP will fight for the removal of the blacklist and the limiting of the powers on immigration given to any minister or public official and be guided by recognised international benchmarks and our commitments rather than anyone’s own personal version of what the standards are.

Authorised by: Roko Tupou Draunidalo, NFP President