October 15, 2011

Military Regime attempts to clamp down on graffiti artists

Fiji Village reports that the Sri Lankan born New Zealand citizen Jagath Karunaratne who was under arrest last week, has now been charged with writing seditious words in public places, with 4 others.
5 in court for writing seditious words in public places
Publish date/time: 15/10/2011 [09:05]

Five men appeared in the Suva Magistrates Court yesterday charged with writing seditious comments in public places earlier this year.

It is alleged that Jagath Karunaratne, Mosese Bulitavu, Eroni Takape, Usaia Koroi and Waisale Daganayasi, between the 21st and 27th of August this year, conspired to do an act, mainly writing of seditious words in public places and billboards along the Nausori and Suva roads, with a seditious intention and thereby purported to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite dissatisfaction against the Government of Fiji.

The five have pleaded not guilty to the charges before Magistrate Usaia Ratuvili.

Their bail has been refused and the five have been remanded in custody.

They will reappear in court on the 21st of this month.

Story by: Vijay Narayan & William Waqavakatoga

While the illegal and treasonous military regime and their various minions induce hype around this case implying that this it is a clear "open and shut case", the finer details confirm the MO of the regime that we are more accustomed --- threats, intimidation and violence:
Police forced me: Suspect
Mary Rauto
Saturday, October 15, 2011

A MAN facing sedition charges alleged he was threatened by police.

Jagath Karunaratne told Acting Chief Magistrate Usaia Ratuvili that he was asked to sign the charge sheet yesterday and was threatened on two occasions by police.

Mr Karunaratne and four others pleaded not guilty to a charge of writing seditious words in public places and billboards, mainly along Nausori and Suva roads.

"I was threatened to be taken to the army camp," Mr Karunaratne claimed.

He said when he requested for his lawyer's presence, he was told that the lawyer's presence would not make any difference.

He claimed that he was told to open his e-mail account and when he asked if it could be done in the presence of his lawyer, it was refused.

Furthermore, he claimed that on one occasion he was threatened that he would be hung by his legs.

Mr Karunaratne said he had co-operated with the police.

1 comment:

Navosavakadua said...

I can't wait to see Aiyaz's prosecutors outlining why the words "support church n unions" constitutes seditious intent.

The Aiyaz decree drafted by Madam Evil Shameem sets an unbelievably broad test for seditious intent. All it requires is intention "to excite disaffection against the Government of Fiji as by law established". But what this means is that the prosecutor will have to explain why supporting a church or union is going to excite disaffection with a Government.

The words "PM traitor" on their face look more like they're intended to excite disaffection, but how do we know -that the words refer to the illegal PM Bainimarama, and not the deposed PM, Qarase?

Is the prosecutor going to argue that the words must be aimed at Bainimarama because he's the only PM guilty of treason?

I can't wait to see the reports of the prosecutor's arguments.