As my mother Dr Mere Samisoni was going about her business yesterday 3 August 2012, eight police officers and three police dogs stopped her alongside the road in Suva. She was told she was to be escorted to the police station. No reasons were given to her. Before doing so she spoke to her New Zealand legal counsel Peter Williams QC and Heeni Phillips.
Mr Williams QC spoke to the officer and asked why was Dr Samisoni being detained and escorted to the police station. The officer replied he could not give a reason as there was no reason, but had been told to do this by his superiors. From approximately 1.30pm to aproximately 6.45pm last night my mother was detained by the police for questioning.
They confiscated her mobile phone, questioned her about her driving, about threatening a FICAC officer (with whom she had never spoken) and they questioned her about Mr Qarase’s sentencing and whether she had attended it or not. It appears that the military led regime are desperate to retain power and will stoop to creating false allegations to do so. None of what they accused her was at all true.
Alongside this, the State have sought to prevent my mother from getting urgent dental treatment in Australia for a procedure that is not available in Fiji. The State’s dental expert diagnosed my mother without reference to her case history and said her condition could be treated by a root canal procedure, which she has already undergone and which failed to treat the underlying cause. Her condition is already effecting her health. We await the Magistrate’s verdict on 15 August.
That the regime is now targeting my mother is a serious concern for our extended family. The regime knows that my mother will most likely win her seat in the next election and they are doing everything they can to prevent her from standing as a candidate.
My mother is a brave woman. She believes that Fiji deserves a peaceful, prosperous future that is
determined by the people and the rule of law, not by the gun and lawfare. My mother is 74 years of age and cannot rely on the independence of the State or the police to protect her. What is a further disappointment is that a successful indigenous woman from Fiji cannot rely on the governments of New Zealand or Australia for upholding human rights, the rule of law and justice in Fiji.
(Daughter of Dr Mere Samisoni)