Home » Uncategorized » “By sentencing him to a relatively short but suspended sentence of imprisonment, which is going to last for a year, it’s effectively silencing him and CCF until the elections.”

“By sentencing him to a relatively short but suspended sentence of imprisonment, which is going to last for a year, it’s effectively silencing him and CCF until the elections.”

Fiji activist sentenced to prison for reprinting report

Updated 1 hour 27 minutes ago

A Fiji human rights activist has been sentenced to a suspended prison term for reprinting part of a report which contains criticism of Fiji’s judiciary.

Reverend Akuila Yabaki, head of the Citizens’ Constitutional Forum, has been sentenced to three months jail, suspended for 12 months, for an article published in the organisation’s Tutaka newsletter in April 2012.

The article quoted London-based Law Society Charity’s 2011 report, “Fiji: The Rule of Law Lost”, which questions the independence of Fiji’s judiciary.

Nigel Dodds, Law Society Charity chair and author of the report, has told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat the sentence is being used to silence Reverend Yabaki in the lead up to Fiji’s elections.

“The sentence is really quite clever. It’s what I would call ‘light touch’ oppression,” he said.

“By sentencing him to a relatively short but suspended sentence of imprisonment, which is going to last for a year, it’s effectively silencing him and CCF until the elections.”

Fiji’s elections are scheduled to be held before September next year.

 

Mr Dodds says the prosecution against Reverend Yabaki for the report’s republication is ill-founded.

“Their report was simply a summary of what I had said with no comment beyond what was in it,” he said.

“Certainly the report is at my door and should be my responsibility.”

He says the prosecution has been a lost opportunity for Fiji’s judiciary to demonstrate independence from government.

“Unfortunately they’ve failed in that responsibility,” he said.

Mr Dodds says the country’s judiciary has been undermined since the dismissal of all judges in 2009.

“There is a difficulty over tenure and there is by-and-large a problem in relation to international perception, and I would say the reality of the independence of the judiciary.”

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7 thoughts on ““By sentencing him to a relatively short but suspended sentence of imprisonment, which is going to last for a year, it’s effectively silencing him and CCF until the elections.”

  1. How much proof did we need that the rule of law is non existent in Fiji. Mr gates has no regard for the rule of law or democracy. This is the absolute proof (if anyone was still doubting).

  2. The drunkard clergyman should treat that as a blessing. He should do away with the reverend title and use Mr instead of hiding behind the clergy title and pretends to be innocent, no he is not. He was earlier warned but stubbornly chose to play politics.

  3. Rev got f up by Khaiyum/Frank. he was supporting them now got the liumuri by his bosses.time for rev to repent.

  4. problem is not the reverend. problem is the judiciary folks. only in Fiji can u get sent to jail for telling the truth.

  5. the judiciary, like the army, instead of protecting the peoples rights to justice and governance, abuses their rights.

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