Fijian government says gays have nothing to fear in Fiji

Government of Fiji responds to protestors on the roof of an immigration detention center in Sydney

The government of Fiji has responded to claims by protestors at Villawood Immigration Detention Centre in Sydney who said yesterday there are no gay rights in the Pacific islands nation.

Three protestors climbed onto the roof at the immigration center yesterday. One protestor, Sai Bulewa said gay people have no rights in Fiji and they fear abuse.

Fiji Village reports today that a government spokesperson said that ‘there are no grounds to support the Fijian protestors’ claims… that they face persecution in Fiji for their sexual orientation’.

AAP reports today that the protestors are still on the roof despite hours of negotiation.

Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul said the protest started when a female Fijian asylum seeker climbed onto the roof with two others at 7am yesterday to protest against her deportation.

‘The Immigration Department should withdraw the removal notice,’ said Rintoul, The Age reports. ‘That is the first step to de-escalate the situation and remove the threat of forcible removal.’

The Fijian government spokesperson added that Fiji has some of the most liberal gay laws in the Pacific and the government has specifically decriminalized acts between consenting adults.

In February 2010 a Crime Decree decriminalized gay sex in Fiji, following an outcry after an Australian, Thomas McCosker, was arrested and eventually sentenced to two years in jail for sodomy in 2005.

by Anna Leach
Source – Gay Star News