Fiji

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Fiji gained independence from British colonial rule nearly 50 years ago, this month. For Fijians in the South Pacific and around the world, this is a day for celebration. Here in Hawai’i, celebration means partaking in the Fijian drink of choice. HPR’s Ku’uwehi Hiraishi has this story.

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Wikimedia Commons

A much delayed sedition trial has concluded in Fiji, with 14 of 16 defendants sentenced to as much as three years in jail. The defendants tried to establish a breakaway Christian state. We have more from Neal Conan in today's Pacific News Minute.

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Wikipedia

The annual summit of the Pacific Islands Forum takes place this week in Samoa, but, as we hear from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute, some leaders will not attend, while other governments will send caretakers.

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Wikimedia Commons

Last April, the publisher and three staff members of the Fiji Times were charged with inciting communal antagonism over an anti-Muslim article.  Now the Director of Public Prosecutions is considering whether to upgrade the charges, to sedition. More from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

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Wikimedia Commons

Last week, a teenager’s death in custody became the latest incident in a long series of case of alleged police brutality in Fiji. Last October, Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama admitted that torture was a problem but said that the issue is being addressed. Details from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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Wikipedia Commons

Twenty Russian soldiers landed in Fiji earlier today to help with the transfer of a large shipment of weapons.  Both Moscow and Suva say the arms are intended to upgrade Fiji's battalion of peacekeepers, based on the Golan Heights in Syria, but, as we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute, opposition leaders in Fiji worry that they might also be used to suppress dissent.

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Wikipedia Commons

Allegations of torture by police in Fiji are raising new questions about human rights and the government's commitment to democracy.  After the country's attorney general ordered a parliamentary investigation into the case halted, an opposition MP charged that the government is still operating like a dictatorship.  Details from Neal Conan, in the Pacific News Minute.