17th November 09:01 PM
Is Nasilasila receiving special treatment or relevant rehabilitation?
By Fijivillage
Thursday 07/11/2019

Nasilasila is now undergoing the relevant rehabilitation program - Fiji Corrections Service (Thursday 07/11/2019)

By: Vijay Narayan and Semi Turaga

The Fiji Corrections Service has stated that convicted rapist, Amenoni Nasilasila is now undergoing the relevant rehabilitation program.

Director of Rehabilitation Senior Superintendent Salote Panapasa has made it clear that once Nasilasila undergoes all the relevant treatment programs then they will commence his reintegration process.

She confirms that appropriate measures have also been addressed internally at Corrections Service to ensure proper processes are followed.

No further comments will be made as the Corrections Service focuses on the program.

Nasilasila was involved in an unofficial Oceania 7s scrimmage session between the Wardens 7s team and the Tuvalu 7s team. He was seen heavily involved in that scrimmage session last Tuesday.

This was only five days after he was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment by High Court Judge Justice Daniel Goundar.

He raped a 24-year-old woman in a settlement in Sigatoka on 22nd December last year.

Fiji women's rights groups have also said that the earlier actions by the Fiji Corrections Service send a dangerous message to the public that perpetrators of sexual violence will not be held to account, especially when they have national sporting achievements.

They say Nasilasila has not even started serving his sentence and it is horrific for the victim/survivor and any victims in this country, who have or have not reported their issues, to see a perpetrator being praised for his help in sports.

Oceania Rugby says it is extremely disappointed that Nasilasila has been connected with an unofficial Oceania 7s scrimmage session as they strongly advocate action to reject all forms of abuse and violence against women and girls across all its member unions.

 

My Facebook post about Nasilasila must not be construed as the opinion of the government - Koroilavesau (Wednesday 06/11/2019)

By: Semi Turaga

Minister for Fisheries, Semi Koroilavesau says his Facebook post about convicted rapist Amenoni Nasilasila is his personal view and must not be construed as the opinion of the government or the FijiFirst Party.

In that Facebook post, Koroilavesau said Nasilasila is still in the Correctional Facility and under the direct supervision of that institution.

He also said he believes the region needs to be more worried about other important matters that is Rugby.

Koroilavesau further said Nasilasila is serving time and the Fiji Corrections Service is better equipped to deal with their issues.

He said he does not expect the Fiji Corrections Service to talk about Regional Rugby as they are not equipped to deal with the issue.

In response to questions by Fijivillage, Koroilavesau says he is expressing his personal views in that post on Facebook.

Koroilavesau also said he only expressed that he supports the Yellow Ribbon Program and giving people a second chance.

Koroilavesau had directed these comments towards a statement by Oceania Rugby which was extremely disappointed that Nasilasila was connected with an unofficial Oceania 7s scrimmage session between the Warden 7s team and the Tuvalu 7s team last Tuesday.

Nasilasila took part in this scrimmage session only five days after being sentenced to 8 years imprisonment by the Lautoka High Court.

Fiji women's rights groups say these actions by the Fiji Corrections Service send a dangerous message to the public that perpetrators of sexual violence will not be held to account, especially when they have national sporting achievements.

They say Nasilasila has not even started serving his sentence and it is horrific for the victim/survivor and any victims in this country, who have or have not reported their issues, to see a perpetrator being praised for his help in sports.

 

Fiji Corrections Service silent on Nasilasila's involvement in unofficial Oceania 7s scrimmage session (Monday 04/11/2019)

By: Semi Turaga

The Fiji Corrections Service remains silent and has not offered any explanation as to why convicted rapist Amenoni Nasilasila was involved in an unofficial Oceania 7s scrimmage session between the Wardens 7s team and the Tuvalu 7s team.

Nasilasila was seen heavily involved in that scrimmage session last Tuesday.

This was only five days after he was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment by High Court Judge Justice Daniel Goundar.

He raped a 24-year-old woman on 22nd December last year.

The incident took place at a settlement in Sigatoka.

Fijivillage sent questions to Fiji Corrections Service Commissioner Francis Kean.

We have asked Kean why Nasilasila is being given this special privilege and whether this is part of the Yellow Ribbon initiative.

Fijivillage also asked Kean to explain what Nasilasila has done to deserve this special privilege and is it given to all inmates,  a few days after they are sentenced.

We also sent statements issued by Oceania Rugby and the Fiji women's rights groups to Kean.

Fiji women's rights groups say these actions by the Fiji Corrections Service send a dangerous message to the public that perpetrators of sexual violence will not be held to account, especially when they have national sporting achievements.

They say Nasilasila has not even started serving his sentence and it is horrific for the victim/survivor and any victims in this country, who have or have not reported their issues, to see a perpetrator being praised for his help in sports.

Oceania Rugby says it is extremely disappointing that Nasilasila has been connected with an unofficial Oceania 7s scrimmage session as they strongly advocate action to reject all forms of abuse and violence against women and girls across all its member unions.

 

Fiji women’s rights groups appalled at Nasilasila being allowed to take part in Wardens scrimmage session (Friday 01/11/2019)

By: Semi Turaga

Women’s human rights groups in Fiji are deeply disappointed and appalled that the Fiji Corrections Service allowed convicted rapist and former national 7s player Amenoni Nasilasila to join the Wardens rugby team in a scrimmage session at the Suva Grammar School ground only five days after he was sentenced by the Lautoka High Court.

Fijivillage has sent questions to Fiji Corrections Service Commissioner Francis Kean. He is yet to respond.

A joint statement has been released by the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre, DIVA for Equality, femLINKPacific and the Fiji Women's Rights Movement.

Fiji Women's Crisis Centre Coordinator Shamima Ali says these actions send a dangerous message to the public that perpetrators of sexual violence will not be held to account, especially when they have national sporting achievements.


Fiji Women's Crisis Centre Coordinator Shamima Ali

She says no one is above the law.

Ali adds rugby and sporting achievements should not ever be valued over the lives and bodies of women and girls.

She stresses that this is inhumane and ignores the reality of victims and survivors of sexual violence and the life-long trauma they face.

Ali says it has only been five days since the announcement of his sentencing yet he continues to receive media coverage as a rugby hero undergoing rehabilitation.

She adds it's saddening to see the hateful commentary against the victim of rape, while the perpetrator is being allowed to visit rugby teams and pose with fans for pictures.

Fiji Women's Rights Movement Executive Director Nalini Singh says Nasilasila has not even started serving his sentence, it is horrific for the victim/survivor and any victims in this country, who have or have not reported their issues, to see a perpetrator being praised for his help in sports.


Fiji Women's Rights Movement Executive Director Nalini Singh

She says they have continued to reiterate this time and time again.

Singh says sexual violence is prevalent in Fiji.

She adds they can have progressive laws in place but the change that must happen is our attitudes.

DIVA for Equality's outgoing Political Adviser Noelene Nabulivou says it is important to look at the root of the problem, which is the gendered hierarchies in our society.


DIVA for Equality's outgoing Political Adviser Noelene Nabulivou

She says they need to promote a human-rights based approach to dealing with this issue.

Nabulivou says there needs to be a change in attitude and behaviour from the community towards the deeply entrenched problem of gender-based violence.

She says while some cases are being reported in the media, many injustices and instances of gender-based violence, including violence against lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons remains invisible.

femLINKPacific Executive Producer Director Susan Grey also emphasised the importance of the role of the media in providing a voice for women.


femLINKPacific Executive Producer Director Susan Grey

She says the media can also get involved by taking the portrayal of women and girls beyond victimhood, to amplifying their voices as leaders in our collective efforts to end gender-based violence.

Grey adds it's everyone's responsibility to speak up against all forms of discrimination and violence and women's voices, as experts on their own issues and experiences are vital towards promoting gender equality.

The Fiji Women’s Rights organisations will be meeting with leaders in government to discuss their concerns and are calling on all sectors of society to join them in their ongoing work to end violence and discrimination against women and girls.

They say the responsibility belongs to all of us to take action in homes and communities.

The joint statement also says families, sports academies, faith-based organisations, communities, and schools have a critical responsibility to challenge the regressive attitudes towards sexual violence and rape culture in Fiji.

It stresses that the importance of consent in a relationship needs to be respected and the public needs to contest their gender biasness and recognise gender-based violence is always about power and control.

 

Tuvalu Rugby Union formally retracts comments made regarding Nasilasila (Thursday 31/10/2019)

By: Semi Turaga

The Tuvalu Rugby Union has formally retracted comments it made yesterday in relation to convicted rapist and former National 7s player Amenoni Nasilasila.

In a comment on a post made by Activist Kris Prasad, the Tuvalu Rugby Union said “please don't mention rape, we all didn't see to our eyes what happened that time”.

The post further read “Law is a competition too, sometimes we just put the innocent people in prison so please respect everyone. Thanks Nasilasila for the help. #RugbyForAll”.

The comments were made after a scrimmage session between the Tuvalu 7s team and the Wardens Team on Tuesday.

The President of the Tuvalu Rugby Union Mika Elaisa says it is unacceptable that comments were made on behalf of the union without any written consent from the governing board and its executives in such a sensitive issue.

Elaisa says the Tuvalu Rugby 7s team in promoting the equal participation of women and girls and maintaining its good relationship with Oceania Rugby, will make the right decisions moving forward in the interest of the tournament and its legacy and advocacy programs.

Elaisa says Tuvalu Rugby affirms the intentions of Oceania Rugby in the strongest terms possible condemning violence against women and girls in the affirming of the long-term commitment to promoting improved gender equality in rugby.

Oceania Rugby says the scrimmage session occurred outside of the Oceania Rugby Sevens tournament window, so they therefore were not aware of Nasilasila’s involvement with the Wardens Team.

 

Oceania Rugby extremely disappointed with Nasilasila being connected with unofficial scrimmage (Thursday 31/10/2019)

By: Semi Turaga

Oceania Rugby says it is extremely disappointed that convicted rapist and former National 7s player, Amenoni Nasilasila has been connected with an unofficial Oceania 7s scrimmage session, as they strongly advocate action to reject all forms of abuse and violence against women and girls across all its member unions.

In a statement, Oceania Rugby says the scrimmage session between the Tuvalu 7s team and the Wardens Team on Tuesday occurred outside of the Oceania Rugby Sevens tournament window, so they therefore were not aware of Nasilasila’s involvement with the Wardens Team.

Oceania Rugby says in light of this they have advised all participating teams to make right decisions in the interest of the tournament and their legacy and advocacy programs.

It says in the strongest terms possible Oceania Rugby condemns violence against women and girls and reaffirm its long-term commitment to promoting improved gender equality in rugby.

The Oceania 7s starts next Thursday at the ANZ Stadium.

We have sent questions to the Fiji Corrections Service. They are yet to comment.

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