Imraz Iqbal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Imraz Iqbal Ali is a Fijian businessman, political activist, and former Television journalist, of Indian descent. He does not normally use his last name, except for legal purposes. Together with Laisa Digitaki, he is the co-owner of a magazine, Fiji Living, based in Digitaki's home in the Lami suburb of Vugalei.

Iqbal also hosted a popular Fiji Diving adventure show during his Television Career.

He contested the Nasinu Indian Communal Constituency for the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua Party (SDL) at the parliamentary election held on 6–13 May 2006. He polled only 226 votes out of more than 12,000 - some 1.9 percent of the total.

Iqbal strongly condemned the Republic of Fiji Military Forces for the coup d'état of 5 December 2006. An article he published in Fiji Living resulted in Navy Commander Francis Kean summoning him to Suva's Queen Elizabeth Barracks and warning him against speaking out against the Military, according to the Fiji Times and Fiji Village (11 December).[1] A studio belonging to Iqbal (Infocus Arts Production House, on Disraeli Road) was destroyed by fire in the early hours of 24 December 2006, Fiji Television reported. Some F$250,000 of equipment was lost. Iqbal said that with the National Fire Authority ruling out an electrical fault, he regarded the fire as suspicious.

In the early hours of 25 December, Iqbal was again summoned to the barracks, along with Digitaki, feminist leader Virisila Buadromo, and a number of others. They were allegedly assaulted by soldiers before being ordered to walk home.[2] Commodore Bainimarama said the military would resist any attempts to destabilise it or thwart it's cleanup campaign. Speaking on a Fijian radio station talk back show, he named individuals that they were monitoring because they were inciting civil unrest. He warned members of the public and non government activists that included Fiji Women's Rights Movement executive director Virisila Buadromo, Human right activists Patricia Jalal, journalist Imraz Iqbal and businesswoman Laisa Digitaki to stop saying things that would incite unrest in the country. Mr Bainimarama said these individuals blamed the military for a fire in Lami last week and he stated it was not the doing of the military. He said that these individuals should shut their mouth or else the military would shut it for them and they should not forget the death that had occurred at the military camp on November 2.

In September 2008 iqbal again had a brush with the law. This time the Fiji Police force alleged him to be in possession of the missing gun of the 2000 coup. He was arrested and held for 3 days by the Fiji police force and released after numerous raids and searches found no weapons in his possession. His elderly father was also held by the police.

In an interview with Fiji Television immediately after his release, Iqbal thanked the Fiji Police force for being very professional in their conduct during his arrest.

References[edit]