Home » Uncategorized » The tribunal says there has been “a systemic failure by the Fijian police to provide consistent and effective protection for victims of family violence”.

The tribunal says there has been “a systemic failure by the Fijian police to provide consistent and effective protection for victims of family violence”.

Abused Fiji woman given refugee status in NZ

Published: 2:56PM Tuesday August 21, 2012 Source: Fairfax

  • Abused Fiji woman given refugee status in NZ  (Source: ONE News)
    Source: ONE News

A 40-year-old woman from Fiji who has suffered years of domestic violence has been declared a refugee in New Zealand because a legal authority here says Fiji police have systematically failed to protect women and families.

The Immigration and Protection Tribunal heard an account of the abuse the woman – known as ‘BR’ – suffered at the hands of her husband before she fled with her son and daughter to New Zealand.

The two teenage children also applied for refugee status but were declined.

The woman’s husband would drink heavily and be abusive, demanding and violent.

She endured a “pattern of drink-fuelled beatings, sexual and emotional abuse most weekends over the course of… 14 years.”

Coming from an Indian Hindu culture she never considered divorce but on two occasions she called the police.

Fijian-Indian police would come but turned out to be drinking friends of her husband. On another occasion they would not respond to her complaint saying they had no transport.

In 2007 with the help of family she and her children escaped to New Zealand and have been here since. She has now got employment.

The husband has threatened to kill her if she returns.

The tribunal said Fiji’s political landscape has been characterised by almost constant change, upheaval and ethnic conflicts and four military coups.

Issues concerning women and their rights had become “secondary to issues of national security, and civil society organisations, including women’s groups, have had to work much harder to highlight human rights issues”.

It said Fiji had a high incidence of domestic violence and quoted a Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre studying showing that 66% of woman had been abused by their partners, with 30% suffering repeated physical abuse and 40% reporting being hit while pregnant.

Fiji women have one of the world’s highest suicide rates.

The tribunal says there has been “a systemic failure by the Fijian police to provide consistent and effective protection for victims of family violence”.

It noted a military regime decree on domestic violence had led to an increase in complaints to the police but the tribunal found that there was no evidence of an appreciable increase in effective state protection for women victims of violence in Fiji.

The tribunal received medical evidence that the woman suffered battered woman syndrome and she met the refugee criteria of having a well-founded fear for her safety: “The persecution that the mother faces is for the reason of her membership of a particular social group, namely women.”

The tribunal found that the children, now 18 and 17, did not meet refugee criteria as they had not been physically abused by their father

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15 thoughts on “The tribunal says there has been “a systemic failure by the Fijian police to provide consistent and effective protection for victims of family violence”.

  1. Sad, but unsurprising. With the degradation of the government, the judiciary and the police – corruption flourishes and the most vulnerable suffer the worst.

  2. Radio Amentia.

    Boy are you still crying wolf?

    Because the nation has moved on to greener and more prosperous pastures.

    So what’s stymieing your growth sunshine?

  3. @Radiolucas

    So sad indeed, but its the indigenous fijian race and thugs who had been degrading the government sine 1987.

    What a shame?

  4. @ Ratu Sai “Because the nation has moved on to greener and more prosperous pastures.”

    And which greener pastures might that be ? the one in the article below ?

    New Report Claims Thousands Of Fiji Residents Living In Poverty
    Even with full-time employment, many still below poverty line
    By Mereani Gonedua
    SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, May 31, 2012) –

    There is now 35 per cent and more people in Fiji living in poverty today.
    People’s Community Network of Fiji (PCN) consultant Father Kevin Barr said after a recent survey conducted they found out that from 2007 to 2008, 31. 4 percent of the population was living in poverty and today the percentage would have increased to 35 percent and more.
    The report shows the poorest people live in rural areas particularly those from the Indian community and 60 percent of those in full-time employments earn wages below the poverty line while 15 percent of the population lives in squatter settlements especially in the greater Suva area.
    The report reveals over 66 percent of those who drop out of school do so because of poverty and 23,670 are receiving the Family Assistance Scheme (FAS).
    The report also shows the lower 30 percent of the population earns 10.3 percent of all wages while the upper 30 percent of the population earns 59.8 percent of all wages.
    Fifty percent of workers earn below FJ$10,000 [US$5,370] and 71 percent earn below $15,000 [US$8,056] which is the tax threshold. The report said many consider that “the poor” in Fiji are only those on Family Assistance Program but these are the worst cases of poverty and make up only a small percentage of those 35 percent plus of the population who are in poverty. The majority of the poor are the urban working poor those in full-time employment earning wages below the basic need poverty line, the rural working poor, those who do not qualify for Family Assistance Program but are seriously struggling like single mothers, elderly, those with disabilities and those who are temporarily out of work. Father Barr said poverty is a multi-faceted problem with a variety of causes and a variety of possible solutions and there is no easy quick-fix solution. He also said there is a lot of evidence of poverty before their eyes and people need to try their best to come out of it.
    Fijilive: http://www.fijilive.com

  5. Ghai brushes off Fiji regime leader’s comments

    Posted at 03:18 on 21 August, 2012 UTC

    The Chairman of Fiji’s Constitution Commission, Yash Ghai, has brushed off criticism from the leader of the Fiji regime that he is being pressured by NGOs and politicians.

    Last week, Commodore Frank Bainimarama chided Professor Ghai in an interview with local media, saying he should not be holding private meetings with such groups.

    He also reminded the five commissioners they hold quasi judicial positions and needed to be independent.

    Professor Ghai says the Commission is just getting on with its work and trying to meet its deadline.

    “I don’t think it was as serious as it was blown up by the media. We continue our work, no pressure has been brought on me and people are making very frank statements, so I don’t think people have taken very seriously the criticisms of the Prime Minister.”

    Professor Ghai says the Commission has received almost 300 submissions so far.

    The Commission has this week started hearings in Nadi and other parts of the Western Division..

    News Content © Radio New Zealand International
    PO Box 123, Wellington, New Zealand

  6. Bainimarama must treat Qarase fairly if they want Immunity written in new constitution for the capital offence of 2006 says:

    Fijian for iTaukei’s, Fiji Islanders for others – Beddoes

    Publish date/time: 21/08/2012 [17:13]

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    Politician, Mick Beddoes wants the term Fijian to remain for only indigenous Fijians and Fiji Islanders to be the term for all the citizens of Fiji.

    Beddoes suggests the country’s name should also change to the Fiji Islands as he made his personal submission to the Constitution Commission in Nadi today.

    There is an audio file attached to this story. Please login to listen.

    Beddoes suggests that there should be changes in relation to the eligibility of election candidates for 2014.

    He said anyone convicted or imprisoned after the 2006 coup should be allowed to register and contest in the next elections.

    There is an audio file attached to this story. Please login to listen.

    Beddoes said the independent inquiry’s findings should then determine whether a person stays in parliament.

    He has also suggested that there should be 72 seats in parliament and the breakdown to be 39 for Fijian, 26 for Indian, 1 for Rotuman and 3 for minorities.

    Beddoes suggests that all voters should be allowed to vote for these seats. He said this will ensure that most of the ethnic communities in Fiji will have representation in parliament and the majority indigenous community will no longer have to fear being marginalized in their own land by migrant communities.

    He also said that there should be provincial representation in parliament, 25% of the seats to be reserved for women and there should be reserved seats for the youth, the disabled, senior citizens/pensioners.

    Beddoes also said that he objects to immunity for those who carried out the coup in 2006 and he also rejects the idea that the people involved will have political immunity until the next elections.

    Beddoes said if these people expect compassion and forgiveness, they should have done the same to former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase.

    He also raises concern that Qarase is the only former Prime Minister who is not being paid his pension as former PM and MP.

    There is an audio file attached to this story. Please login to listen.

    The constitution commission is currently in Nadi and Lautoka taking public submissions.

  7. @ Sai

    “So what’s stymieing your growth”.

    To be clear – your business is your own and is in NZ. The only interest you seem to have in Fiji is whether or not the regime is giving your family cushy jobs and whether or not Frank has time to lunch with you.

    My business is international, although I still have business interests, friends and family that are forced to make do with what is happening in Fiji.

    What is happening is clear and it is not “greener and more prosperous pastures”. The economy is going nowhere fast, the dollar is declining, the real estate market has gone. So what is left?

    The only “good” things exist for those who can tap into the corruption of the regime – the nepotism, cronyism and back-door payouts that we know about are enough to indicate that if these are the ones we know about, the bigs ones that we don’t are probably terrifyingly huge. The lack of transparency, the play for the regime’s favours have meant that what was once a relatively even playing field is now down to however can stomach cosying up to Frank and Aiyaz to pay the regime bribes to get simple things done. There is no longer any room for honest business – the poor civil service is being squeezed by their masters, who in turn squeeze the public. There is a pervasive attitude that if their masters reward themselves with secrecy and corruption, why shouldn’t they?

    Want to transfer a title: Two months, if you are lucky. 1 week for a nominal fee, no receipt required.
    Drivers licence to hard to get: Pass guaranteed with $50 fee, no receipt required.
    Want to bring a computer into the country: $1000 in tax “assessment” or $150 in cash, no receipt required.

    These are the smallest stories I have heard and they make me very angry – and if this is happening at the tail of the fish, I am sure that the head stinks too.

    Fiji was never as bad as this. It is far worse than you realise Sai, but of course you have no clue because you quite honestly, have NO IDEA what it is like to live and work in this environment of secrecy, corruption and veiled threats – you live, work and play in NZ, returning to Fiji only on those occassions when you want to have lunch with Frank. Bravo, Mr Brave, Honest Man. But don’t worry Sai, put your head back in the trough and keep telling yourself about those greener and more prosperous pastures.

  8. @Radiolucas

    “Want to transfer a title: Two months, if you are lucky. 1 week for a nominal fee, no receipt required.
    Drivers licence to hard to get: Pass guaranteed with $50 fee, no receipt required.
    Want to bring a computer into the country: $1000 in tax “assessment” or $150 in cash, no receipt required”

    That is caled lunch money

    The big money is when Aiyaz Khaiyum calls you direct on your mobile phone and tells you your visa and your family’s visa extension is being withheld as he did to Mark Halabe.

  9. @ Anon

    That wouldn’t be surprising. They are knocking on everyone’s doors – anything to get their lunch money eh?

    This did happen in the past, but never to this extent. They are just so much more bold about it.

    This is why it is so worrying because a whole generation is growing up learning this attitude, in this atmosphere, this education of the corrupt.

  10. Khaiyum was not Minister responsible for Immigration at that time. Not his portfolio. He was just making the phone calls. The calls were intercepted.

  11. By this ruling of the immigration tribunal in new zealand a big queue of fijians will surely be lining up for refugee visas.

    A new pandora box of ” fake made up violence stories” will be opened soon.

  12. Driver’s license problems have existed for many years.

    Generally, the first behind the wheel thing for which they test is reverse parking. If the applicant fails that, no license. That’s rather silly. Who ever heard of an accident occurring because the driver was unskilled at reverse parking? Practically, one cannot reverse park anyway since if one attempts to do so, the car behind will stop so close that reversing is impossible.

    Of course they should test for reverse parking, but failing to do so successfully should cause a loss of only a few points so if one does well on the rest of the test, one can still get a license. That change alone would greatly reduce the failure rate without making the roads more dangerous and would reduce the incidence of bribes.

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