Fiji Imprisons Tourist for Having Gay Sex
April 6, 2005
By The Associated Press
SUVA—A retired Australian
university lecturer was sentenced to two years in prison for having gay sex
with a local man in Fiji where such acts are outlawed, a newspaper reported
Thomas Maxwell McCoskar, 55, from Victoria state, told
magistrate Syed Muhktar Shah he did not know it was illegal in Fiji to engage
in sex with Dhirendra Nadan, 23, according to the report in The Fiji Times.
Both were jailed Tuesday for two years after admitting
charges of “committing an unnatural offence” and “indecent behavior”.
They faced a maximum 14-year sentence after admitting to
engaging in sex and taking photographs of themselves naked between March 24
and April 3. McCoskar said he had just retired and had traveled to Fiji for
The magistrate described their behavior as “something
so disgusting that it would make any decent person vomit.”
He told McCoskar: “If you wanted to have fun you should
have stayed in Australia instead of trying to come to Fiji and exploit our
While Fiji’s laws prescribe up to 14 years imprisonment
for homosexual activity, prosecutions are now rare. Police turn a blind eye to
widespread solicitation by male prostitutes in the capital, Suva, and at the
international airport in Nadi.
Advocates for Fiji’s LGBT community are pressing the
government to abolish anti-gay laws, but are fiercely opposed by the powerful
and deeply conservative Methodist Church of Fiji.
In a statement, Australia’s Foreign Ministry said it
had sent consular officials to visit McCoskar in prison.
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