News Pacific

Severe Punishments for Sedition, Warns Bainimarama

By Samantha Semoso – EMTV Online

Fiji’s Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, has warned of severe punishment and many years in jail for anyone joining attempts to allegedly form a breakaway state or overthrow the government.

Bainimarama’s comments came in a weekend speech at the launch of a new government vessel, as about 70 people await court appearances for charges of sedition.

He says any challenge to his government is an attack on democracy and would not be tolerated.

The Prime Minister described the people behind insurrections as enemies of the country who would be tracked down and brought to justice.

He pointed to “high profile figures” in Australia who were among the plotters who he described as enemies of a modern Fiji.

Bainimarama also called on people to report any illegal activity and to tell anyone who may be involved that they risk spending many years in jail.

The Prime Minister attacked the opposition party SODELPA for not joining in his condemnation of those he said were threatening the integrity of the nation.

SODELPA than hit back at the Prime Minister saying his threats over sedition are becoming aggressive and similar in tone to his behaviour before the 2006 coup.

SODELPA leaders say while the Prime Minister has warned citizens of Fiji not to break the law, he refuses to answer for his own lawless behaviour and has hidden behind immunity provisions in the Constitution brought in before the elections last year.

The party’s leaders say the government’s strategy using the US based PR company Qorvis and the Fiji Sun is tantamount to a fraud on the nation.

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