Shame on them for their ignorance

While our women’s and men’s 7s teams shine on the global stage, it is shameful that here at home, Fiji Rugby continues to allow convicted rapist Amenoni Nasilasila amongst others to play in local 7s tournaments.

These are the comments of Fiji Women’s Crisis Center Coordinator, Shamima Ali as she calls out Fiji Rugby and the Corrections Service for the seventh time.

Ali says Nasilasila who was convicted for the rape of a 24-year-old woman and jailed for 8 years in 2019 played for Wardens Gold in the Fiji Bitter Mataso Nakarovou 7s over the weekend.

She says despite all their efforts, Fiji Rugby continues to ignore the lived realities of women and girls in this country.

The Crisis Center Coordinator says Fiji has one of the highest rates of violence in the world – almost double the global average.

She says one only has to read the ODPP’s monthly statistics on sexual crimes to realize the horrific reality of rape.

Ali says shame on FRU, the sponsors and the Corrections Service for their ignorance.

She also says they wrote to Fiji Rugby in July 2020 and the Corrections Service in April this year.

There has been no response to date.

Ali says it is appalling that despite condemnation from the Minister for Women Rosy Akbar and various other organizations, Fiji Rugby, the sponsors and the Fiji Corrections Service continue to let Nasilasila play.

Ali says our rugby players are revered throughout the world and they are heroes to the youth.

She says letting a star rugby player convicted of such heinous crimes continue playing while serving their term is sending a very dangerous signal to the youth.

Ali also says the Fiji National Action Plan to Prevent Violence against All Women and Girls led by the Fijian Government where all of Government and civil society came together and worked over four years is currently being finalized and actions by Fiji Rugby and the Fiji Corrections Service are counterproductive to this sterling national effort to end the scourge of violence against women and girls in Fiji.

Fiji Rugby and Fiji Corrections have not made any comments.