Friday, 15 May 2009 11:20 AM

Fiji Police Detain Church Leader

As the political situation in Fiji continues, the interim government has confirmed that it has detained the former Methodist Church president, Reverend Manasa Lasaro, 'for a possible breach of Fiji's Public Emergency Regulations'.

Details had appeared in blogs and other news sites that the church leader had been taken into custody, however, there was no official confirmation from the interim government until now.
According to Fijilive, Police Director Operations, Assistant Superintendent Waisea Tabakau, said that Reverend Lasaro is in custody and being seriously investigated in relation to political statements issued by church officials last week
The Methodist Church of Fiji has revealed its opposition to the December 2006 coup which has brought it at loggerheads with the interim government.
Reverend Lasaro had predicted he would be taken into custody following a statement issued by the church last week opposing the military regime.

According to the Australia Network News, Tabakau, in giving a reason for the detainment, stated, "Manasa Lasaro has been taken in for questioning in regards to our suspicion that he has been involved in some activities that will bring about breaches under the law and also bring about things that will interfere with the safety and security of our nation."

There are also allegations that another reporter, this time from Fiji Times, had been detained yesterday over a story but had been released by yesterday afternoon.
This is part of the continuing effort by the country's military-led government to censor the media and control the information being circulated within the country.