Cheap Thugs

Banned reporter Michael Field writes about his treatment in Fiji.

I was then perplexed when one of the men who had attached themselves to me asked if I had any money.

Corruption is a big issue in Fiji, so I answered with care: “Yes, why?”

“We want you to pay for your detention room.”

I pointed out that had already paid for a decent hotel room elsewhere.

A woman snarled: “You are staying in the detention room; we will pay.”

I was taken in a van with blacked-out to the Hotel Kennedy, which I had never heard of.

I now know it as a kind of immigration detention centre cum brothel.

“We’ll put him in the black room,” the man said to the security guard with me.

“Yes, that would be good. No electricity.”

So the thugs who now run Fiji not only illegally detain journalists, they have the temerity to demand that said journalists pays for the cost of his own detention room. It would be funny if it wasn’t tragic.

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