Name: Ulai Taoi / Ulaiasi Taoi
Arrested: 11 – 12 May 07
Global Voices Advocacy: Fijian Freedom Bloggers
After the coup d’état in December 2006 ((Wikipedia | 2006 Fijian coup d’état)), Fijian bloggers started protesting against the new regime mostly using Google’s Blogspot, which subsequently got blocked after a while. But even after the old president was restored on January 4, the Fijian “Freedom Bloggers” continued their writing. Threatened by the military forces, they continued publishing their anti-governmental articles and did not stop demanding for freedom of expression.
On May 11, the prominent businessman Ulai Taoi, president of the Fiji Indigenous Business Council, was arrested by soldiers and held in custody for nearly 24 hours before being released ((Intelligentsiya | ALERT: Military holds businessman over blogs)). Taoi was suspected of being the anti-military blogger “Fijian Black”, while this is in fact the blognym of a group of freedom bloggers at “Good Men (And Women) Doing Something” ((Good Men (And Women) Doing Something)). The “Fijian Black” had called for the “Mayday protest” on May 1, 2007 ((Radio New Zealand International | May Day passive protest in Fiji called a success by organisers – a flop by government)), when people had boycotted work in protest against the interim administration.
Ulai Taoi was reportedly physically abused while in custody ((Fiji Times | Army “beat me”)), but released only 24 hours after his detention.