Adi starts over after political exile

Note: The name has been changed, but the facts have not.

Adi is a devoted wife and mother of three children who has been separated from family members for nearly a decade. Her husband’s role as a government whistleblower in the South Pacific island nation of Fiji placed them on opposite sides of the world. 

Adi’s husband was a senior civil servant in Fiji. His responsibilities covered intelligence, investigations and audit compliance. The nature of his work also put him in close contact with the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption. 

Around 2012, he helped seize millions of dollars of illegal goods connected to Fiji’s Prime Minister and Attorney General at that time. He had a copy of a transcribed audio recording that implicated the Prime Minister in alleged drug smuggling with China.

Adi’s husband was told to back off the investigation and destroy the evidence; instead, he hid the case files. Not long after this, a senior Fiji official told Adi’s husband to go on a paid study leave in Australia. He heeded the advice to stay away and lay low for a while.

Meantime, Adi traveled to the U.S. for an extended visit with her brother in Oregon.

Before completing his studies, Adi’s husband was tipped off that the Prime Minister was waiting for him to return to Fiji. He stayed in Australia and was joined by the couple’s two daughters. Adi had booked her plane ticket back to Fiji, but about a week before her scheduled return, the Fijian authorities ceased her husband’s salary. She also learned about threats to him and family members.

On the day that Adi was supposed to return home, Fijian authorities checked to see if she was back in the country. They checked the family home. They didn’t find her because she stayed in Oregon. Her husband and daughters remained in Australia and were eventually granted asylum there.

In 2013, Safe Route Immigration filed a U.S. asylum application for Adi, and in September 2014 she was granted asylum status. Safe Route later filed family reunification applications, but Adi’s husband remains in Australia while she continues to live and work in Roseburg, Oregon.

In August 2023, she took her oath as a new U.S. citizen.