The Marshall Petition (with correct page order)

With thanks to a fellow blogger for sending in Justice Marshall’s petition with the pages in the correct order.

The illegal iArse has nowhere to run, nowhere left to hide. Final Petition of William R Marshall

Let justice be done.

Tabu soro.

God bless Fiji

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Final Petition of William R Marshall

The Petition of the regime’s former Justice of Appeal has kept lawyers amused all day.

The only version currently online is in reverse order. If anyone has a copy in natural order, please send it through via Comments and it will be posted on this blog.

God bless Fiji

See how far we have fallen

The regime’s new buddies who are helping them control our cyberspace, monitor our emails and flood our blogs with anti-matter, constantly use deceptions and sleights of hand to obscure how very, very bad things are for us now in Fiji.

One of the great things about the internet is that anything sent via a server is now pretty much ‘held’ somewhere in cyberspace. We can revisit documents, images and snapshots – like long forgotten photo albums – to remember where we have been.

This letter from Human Rights Watch Asia Executive Director, Brad Adams, to Bainivore and the later Tui Vuda, back in early 2007, makes for sobering reading.

For one thing, it reminds us of what life was like under the protection of our 1997 Constitution.

For another thing, it reminds us of what life was like when the idea of innocent civilians being taken to barracks and beaten was still horrific to us.  Nowadays, we are almost blase when we hear someone has been detained, whether a leader or an ordinary person.

It reminds us of what it was like to be able to have the courage to say to the regime that we felt what they were doing is unacceptable.

It reminds us of how it felt to have fundamental rights of expression, assembly, association and to feel that we had a right to humane treatment while in detention.

February 6, 2007

Interim Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama
President Ratu Josefa Iloilo
Republic of the Fiji Islands
Government Building
Suva, Fiji

Dear interim Prime Minister Bainimarama and President Iloilo,

We write to share our concerns regarding developments in Fiji since the December 5, 2006 military coup. We urge you to ensure the swift transition to an elected government, and call on you and your officials to immediately and publicly make an unambiguous commitment that fundamental human rights will be respected and those who exercise them will be protected. The conduct of an independent investigation into the death of a person in military custody and allegations of arbitrary detentions, beatings, and harassment of more than a dozen individuals by the military should be a first step towards helping to restore confidence. In addition, we call on you to publicly state that all legal civil society groups are free to continue with their work. Finally, we urge you to protect the independence of the judiciary and the media.

We are particularly concerned about allegations that your government has engaged in arbitrary detention and abuse of particular individuals.

On the evening of December 24, 2006, Ms. Virisila Buadromo, executive director of the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement, Mr. Arshad Daud, Ms. Buadromo’s partner, Ms. Laisa Digitaki, a businesswoman, Mr. Imraz Iqbal, a businessman and former journalist, and Ms. Jacqueline Koroi and Mr. Pita Waqavonovono, both youth activists, were taken from their homes by members of the military. No arrest warrants were produced. Between the coup on December 5, 2006 and this incident, some members of this group had received threatening phone calls from individuals who identified themselves as members of the military. The six were taken to the Queen Elizabeth Barracks, where they were questioned and beaten by military officials. At least two were hit in the face in the course of their questioning, and one required a neck brace following her release. Another suffered a broken leg and broken ribs. Early the following morning, they were forced to run 10km in the rain to Lami, where they were made to dismantle pro-democracy banners. They were subsequently informed by the Immigration Department that they would not be allowed to leave the country.

The comment from you, Interim Prime Minister Bainimarama, that, “If we need to call [activists] in and say you’re speaking too much, we’ll do it,” would appear to be an unacceptable endorsement of this behavior.

Other detentions and assaults by members of the military are of equal concern. According to our information, at least two dozen people, including civil society activists, but also members of the business and media communities as well as private citizens, have been detained. None appears to have been detained with a warrant. Those detained include:

  • Mr. Kenneth Zinck, former government minister of Labour, who was detained twice (6 December, 9 January). On the occasion of his second arrest on January 9, Mr. Zinck was taken by members of the military to the Namaka barracks near Nadi after he made comments in a publication against the military regime. He was allegedly beaten during his detention.
  • Mr. Mesake Koroi, Fiji Daily Post General Manager (December 8), was taken to Queen Elizabeth Barracks for speaking out against the military.
  • Mr. Peceli Kinivuwai, United Fiji Party (Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua, SDL) National Director (December 9), was also taken to Queen Elizabeth Barracks for speaking out against the military.
  • Mr. Robert Wolfgramm, Editor-in-chief of the Fiji Daily Post (December 14), was not given a reason for his detention and was taken to Queen Elizabeth Barracks.
  • Mr. Jagannath Sami, former Sugar Cane Growers Council chief executive (December 23, and January 18), was taken to the police station in Lautoka for making statements to discredit the military.
  • Ms. Laisa Vulakoro, Musician (December 28), was questioned by the police after voicing his criticisms of the military.

We note that these actions violate Fiji’s constitution, which guarantees the fundamental rights of expression (section 30), assembly (section 31), and association (section 32). They appear to also violate the rights to be treated “with humanity and respect for his or her dignity” if arrested and detained (section 27 (1)(e)).

The death in military custody of Mr. Nakelo Verebasaga, a land surveyor, particularly merits independent investigation. Mr. Verebasaga did not appear to be suffering from any life-threatening injuries or illness when he was taken into custody on January 5, 2007 for alleged disputes with his neighbors. He too was taken to Queen Elizabeth Barracks, and was pronounced dead on arrival at the barracks hospital. His body was then taken to Colonial War Memorial Hospital mortuary at 11:30am for a post mortem examination. Military officials have claimed that Mr. Verebasaga had been injured in fights the previous week, and that he had developed breathing problems en route to the barracks. As Mr. Verebasaga died whilst in the custody of the military an independent investigation is essential to establishing a credible explanation for the cause of death and the culpability of any of the military officers in charge of him at the time.

The military’s placing on leave on January 3, 2007 of Chief Judge Daniel Fatiaki and Chief Magistrate Ms. Naomi Matanipobua also raises concerns about your present and future commitment to the rule of law. These two senior members of the judiciary appear to have been dismissed because they are likely to oppose your efforts to suspend the Constitution. An independent judiciary is fundamental to the protection of human rights, and military interference in it constitutes grave disregard for the rule of law.

President Iloilo’s January 4 statement supporting the extension of legal immunity to all coup members and interim Prime Minister Bainimarama’s similar statement on January 7 send a worrying signal that you intend to prevent investigations into allegations of serious human rights abuses perpetrated by members of the military. Any attempt to grant impunity for abuses will undermine efforts to re-establish a stable and democratic Fiji for the foreseeable future.

Human Rights Watch urges that you publicly reiterate your commitments to basic freedoms as guaranteed by Fiji’s constitution, and instruct your officials to conduct themselves accordingly. Finally, you must ensure that elections consistent with international standards are held as soon as possible, and that the results of those elections are honored. Should you fail to do so, the future of human rights in Fiji remains in jeopardy.

Sincerely,

Brad Adams
Executive Director
Asia Division

How very, very far we have fallen.

How very, very badly we need to stand.

Tabu soro.

God bless Fiji.

Illegal junta asks – who can we rob next?

Having realised that We The People have no more money, having pre-spent the money they’ve haven’t yet got from selling our natural resources to China and having not been able to hawk their junk bonds, the illegal regime is now hijacking our tourists, filling in the final missing colour in their rainbow of Killing The Goose That Lays The Golden Egg.

http://www.3news.co.nz/Fiji-departure-tax-jumps-50-percent/tabid/372/articleID/240161/Default.aspx

An instant hike  in departure tax from $100 to $150 is so transparently stupid that it almost defies belief. Is this the only way they have left of paying Qorvis? iArse, you have outdone yourself, yet again.

God bless Fiji

Minfo responds to YPCN statement

In the best of Orwellian tradition, the idea that ‘you should not feel threatened by the amendment to the Public Order’ Decree if you ‘do not want to create public disorder’ is utterly fatuous.
Let’s turn that one on its head, shall we?
If the regime did not want to suppress the collective will of We The People, it should not feel sufficiently threatened by Us to warrant needing to rule Us by Decree. It would allow Us to elect Our Own representatives to debate the decree before it passes into law. But no. This tinpot regime won’t even allow Us to vote in a Personality Contest without interference.
The regime calls POAD ‘an enabling statute’. This is the same warped, twisted logic that calls the 2006 coup a ‘sunset clause’ on our native land rights. The decree is intended to DISable Our voice. The regime is interested in ENabling nothing of We The People because it fears Our legitimate voice and Our legitimate powers.
How are We The People to voice Our aspirations, Our hopes, Our dreams, which this illegal regime continues to ravage as though Our beloved country were its own personal piggybank?
When are We The People allowed to speak? If they insist on stifling Our collective voice, how else can We The People be heard other than by standing up for Ourselves and saying simply “No. No more.”
God bless Fiji
.

From: Minfonews <news@info.gov.fj>
Date: 16 January 2012 17:09
Subject: GOVERNMENT RESPONDS TO YPCN STATEMENT
To: Minfonews <news@info.gov.fj>

Government responds to YPCN LINK

GOVERNMENT RESPONDS TO YPCN STATEMENT

The Ministry of Information permanent secretary Sharon Smith Johns released the following statement today in response to the Young People’s Concerned Network:

If the Young People’s Concerned Network seeks to represent the leaders of tomorrow, it will need to do a better job of understanding recent Fijian history and of assessing Government provisions, such as the Public Order (Amendment) Decree—which it misreads either out of a desire to manipulate public sentiment or simply because of ignorance.

To compare the Public Order (Amendment) Decree to most other government’s laws regarding terrorism and extremism, such as the United States or Australia, would reveal immediately that Fiji is in fact more liberal than other countries. The U.S., for example, under the National Defense Authorization Act signed by President Obama, allows the military to indefinitely detain terror suspects, including American citizens arrested in the U.S., without charge. Fiji does not even come close to this. The United Nations General Assembly further encourages all nations to be proactive in taking steps to “prevent and combat” domestic and international terrorist threats in all their forms.

To be clear: If you do not want to engage in racial or religious vilification or create public disorder, then you should not feel threatened by the amendment to the Public Order Act. The amendment is an enabling statute—one that creates a safe place for open discussion and critical thinking across Fijian society for the formation of a true liberal democratic state.

This is because throughout Fiji’s history demagoguery and religious, racial and ethnic vilification have been used openly to harass and intimidate, and at times hold Fiji for ransom. Politicians and religious leaders have used race and religion, not just to denigrate others but as a political tool of ascendency. In the process, they created public disorder, inhibiting true democracy to flourish.

The Bainimarama Government takes seriously the welfare and opinion of Fijian youth, which underscores all of its activities to strengthen the Fijian economy, create jobs, invest in education and technology, and establish the basis for a new future.

-ends-

Probes After BainiVore Loses Rigged Poll

First reported by intrepid Pacific correspondent, Michael Field, on Stuff.co.nz, this story just keeps on giving as a superlative demonstration of the regime’s ethos – incompetent, egotistical, ill-tempered, unpopular and sore losers to boot.  With this kind of attitude, does anyone truly believe these bozos will allow us elections in 2014?

Fiji’s military dictator Voreqe Bainimarama has ordered two regime inquiries after he failed to win a television text message competition for personality of the year.

The regime’s attorney general Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum told a press conference in Suva that the poll result has been changed and Bainimarama is first – beating out a woman who won it on January 1, Premila Kumar of the Fiji Consumer Council.

Bainimarama, who ended democracy with an armed coup in 2006 and refuses to restore democracy until 2014 at the earliest, claims the text polling run by semi-privately owned Fiji TV and Vodafone, was undemocratic.

“The allegation is that members of the public could text in and give their vote and the announcement was going to be made on the first of January,” Sayed-Khaiyum says.

But they closed the poll on December 30 and ignored 1500 votes sent in on December 31 – and almost all of the votes on the last day were for Bainimarama. The uncounted votes appear to make up almost all of the submitted text votes.

Sayed-Khaiyum says Fiji TV has apologised and on January 9 reversed the result awarding the title to Bainimarama.

But the regime has sent a formal complaint to the Commerce Commission and to the Media Development Authority “in respect of unethical practices”.

The authority was established by military decree and has dacronian powers to close down media outlets or force them to change owners – as they did to the Rupert Murdoch owned Fiji Times.

Under the revised Personality of the Year results, Bainimarama apparently scored 1700 votes to Kumar’s 464.

– © Fairfax NZ News

 

January 13, 2012

AAP

Two government inquiries have been ordered after Fijian military dictator Frank Bainimarama lost a television popularity poll.

Fiji TV reported on January 1 that Bainimarama came second in the text poll run by Fiji TV and Vodafone for Personality of the Year, behind Consumer Council chief executive Premila Kumar.

But another announcement was made by Fiji TV on January 9 that Bainimarama was the actual winner, FBC Radio reported.

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says he has subsequently reported the matter to the Commerce Commission and the Media Development for unethical practices.

“The allegation is that members of the public could text in and give their vote and the announcement was going to be made on the first of January,” he said.

“Unbenounced (sic) to many members of the public, Fiji TV closed the actual polls on the 30th of December as opposed to the 31st of December.

“We understand that Fiji TV subsequently made an apology and reversing the outcome, but what we are concerned about is the manner in which it was done in the first place.”

FBC said efforts to get comment from Fiji TV “proved futile”.

Blog Fiji Today reported that the December 30 cutoff was made because of “a suspiciously large number of texts on the 31st from numbers allocated to the military”.

One number voted 23 times.

This was considered suspicious by the television station and the earlier cutoff was to avoid the results being tainted, it said.

© 2012 AAP

 

 

Tell BainiVore Only What He Wants To Hear

This scathing article in the Sydney Morning Herald shows what a stupid lot Qorvis’s latest client is. But of course Qorvis already knew that. They probably value their clients for their stupidity, megalomania and need to hear only what they want to hear.

Come in spinner: Fiji pays Washington lobbyists for image makeover

Dylan Welch in Suva, Fiji

January 14, 2012

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/come-in-spinner-fiji-pays-washington-lobbyists-for-image-makeover-20120113-1pzc8.html#ixzz1jWlefHLo

THE Fijian regime of Voreqe ”Frank” Bainimarama has recruited one of Washington’s most notorious lobbyist firms – which has been raided by the FBI and represents repressive regimes in the Middle East and Africa – to help manage its reputation and lobby foreign journalists.

And diplomatic sources believe the firm, Qorvis Communications, may be behind the decision by Commodore Bainimarama to lift the widely condemned public emergency regulations, only to enshrine them in a permanent law.

The company is represented in Suva by a fresh-faced former business journalist, Seth Thomas Pietras, who has been in the country on and off since October. A contract published by the US Justice Department under the Foreign Agents Registration Act reveals that in October the Fijian Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, signed a deed with Qorvis worth $US40,000 a month for a year. In return, Qorvis has agreed to provide ”public relations services relating to business and investment to the government of Fiji”.

But it appears to the Herald, which spent the week in Suva being lobbied by Mr Pietras, that his ambit is far greater than spin.

It is likely Mr Pietras, described as Qorvis’s chief speechwriter, helped draft Commodore Bainimarama’s recent speeches, including his New Year’s Day address announcing the lifting of emergency regulations.

Several countries with an interest in Fiji expressed a belief to the Herald that, given the timing, Qorvis might have played a role in Commodore Bainimarama’s decision to lift the emergency regulations.

A diplomatic source also expressed concern that the kind of role played by such lobbyists in the Middle East and Africa was being imported to the Pacific.

Mr Pietras, an executive vice-president of Qorvis’s geopolitical solutions section, is at least the second Qorvis employee to travel to Fiji, after Tina Jeon, an Olympic archer and Qorvis spinner.

In early November Ms Jeon posted on Twitter a photo of herself and Commodore Bainimarama aboard a boat in Fiji with the caption: ”No better place to write a press release”.

Last year, during the Arab Spring, Mr Pietras was Qorvis’s spokesman when its role in defending Middle East regimes was the subject of debate.

”Our clients are facing some challenges now,” Mr Pietras told The New York Times. ”But our long-term goals to bridge the differences between our clients and the United States haven’t changed. We stand by them.”

In 2004 Qorvis was raided by the FBI as part of an investigation into whether an advertising campaign it helped run broke federal law by not disclosing Saudi funding.

At the time, Qorvis was the beneficiary of a six-month contract with the Saudis worth almost $US15 million to help improve its reputation after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Last year an Egyptian steel tycoon with ties to the Mubarak regime retained Qorvis to manage his public relations during a trial regarding claims of widespread corruption. He was eventually sentenced to 10 years in jail.

The company has also represented the man widely known as ”Africa’s worst dictator”, Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/come-in-spinner-fiji-pays-washington-lobbyists-for-image-makeover-20120113-1pzc8.html#ixzz1jWlji4FD