Saturday, October 06, 2007

Dr Shemeem has no credibility

October 05, 2007

THE offices of the Fiji Human Rights Commission and that of the Ombudsman have been irreparably damaged and have lost all credibility and respect locally and internationally, says the Pacific Centre for Public Integrity (PCPI).
PCPI Director Angie Heffernan says both public offices and taxpayers money are being used by the Ombudsman, Dr Shaista Shameem, who was the Director and now chairman of the Fiji Human Rights Commission, to launch a personal crusade that has championed the removal of Fiji's democractically elected government.
''PCPI says that the sole Human Rights Commissioner, Ms Shamima Ali has publicly stated that the reports and actions taken by Dr Shameem was never approved by the Commission, therefore indicating that the Director has and continues to act on her own personal initiative,'' Ms Heffernan said.
Ms Heffernan is concerned that Dr Shameem has compiled a report of the list of people who had made complaints to the United Nations.
PCPI states that it is a serious cause for concern that such a report is being compiled.
''The citizens of Fiji have a right to know for what purpose is this report being complied for and who will it be sent to. Is this another witch hunt by the Director of the Human Rights Commission on those who have opposed the overthrowing of a democratically elected government'', says Heffernan.
She said any report that is released from the military interim regime's Ombudsman belongs in the rubbish bin.
''It is an insult and an injustice for those who have suffered as a result of the military coup, particularly the families of Verebasaga and Rabaka to have this person say that a ''report is being compiled on those who have reported to the United Nations.''
PCPI says they are concerned that such a report that lists all those who have used their constitutional right to express their opposition to the military takeover and the events after that may become the victims of further persecution by those currently in power.
PCPI added that contrary to the delusions of the Director, about 90 per cent who have publicly opposed the events of December 5, and who have sought international intervention are not politically aligned to the SDL government.
''Trying to falsely create a public perception that people who oppose the coup are politically aligned or have lost benefits as a result of the coup is not only inaccurate, but devious and mischievous,'' Ms Heffernan said.
PCPI says that they will not be surprised if legal action is taken against the Director of the Commission for such false and misleading accusations.
Fiji Times Online has sought the comments of Dr Shameem, who said a list had been compiled on those who had complained to the United Nations but did not say what the purpose of the was or who it would be sent to.

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