Pro-democracy MP arrested in Tonga


High-profile pro-democracy campaigner and parliamentarian Akilisi Pohiva has been arrested by police in connection with a riot last November that left seven people dead. Following the riot, a state of emergency was declared, giving police the power to detain people without charges for seven days. Some 700 others have already been arrested, including Pohiva's fellow-MP Isileli Pulu, who was charged with manslaughter, sedition and abetting property damage. According to Radio NZ International on January 19, Pohiva says the motivation for the riot will be revealed in court. "He knew what the people were upset about", RZNI correspondent Mateni Tapueluelu said. "They were upset because the very peaceful approach that they'd made to the government demanding political reform hadn't worked. And he knew why their anger spilled out and this is why he made a statement to that effect, which is now interpreted by the government as meaning that they [the pro-democracy movement] did plan it."

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