Friday, February 12, 2010

Australian UN Statement on Fiji

Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review Working Group
Statement on Fiji
by Miranda Brown, Deputy Permanent Representative
11 February 2010

Australia welcomes the delegation from Fiji and appreciates its engagement in the Universal Periodic Review Process.

Australia strongly condemns the widespread human rights abuses that have occurred under the Fiji military regime since the December 2006 coup. The situation in Fiji has deteriorated since the purported abrogation of Fiji’s Constitution and imposition of Public Emergency Regulations.

We are deeply concerned that Fiji is ruled by administrative fiat and by an unelected and unlawful interim government headed by the Commander of Fiji’s military. The regime has declared it will not reinstate a constitution until 2013 and will not hold elections for another four years. This is an unnecessarily long delay and it denies the people of Fiji legal protection of their human rights.

Australia is concerned by the extent to which the rule of law and independence of the judiciary has been undermined. Under its post-abrogation decrees, the regime revoked all judicial appointments and granted the interim President sole power to appoint and remove judges. The regime also prohibited the courts from hearing cases challenging the abrogation of the Constitution or decrees and decisions made by the interim government. The regime has sought to place itself above the rule of law.

The regime continues to censor the media and harass journalists. Recent incidents of intimidation and persecution of critics of the Fiji interim government - including of church leaders, human rights activists, lawyers and judges - have further demonstrated the regime’s total disregard for human rights.

Australia recommends the Fiji interim government:

1. Ensure human rights are afforded full legal and constitutional protection in Fiji;

2. Lift the Public Emergency Regulations and restore an environment in which all of Fiji’s citizens can meet freely and can express political opinions without fear or retribution;

3. Immediately cease its interference in the judiciary, and ensure judges are appointed and dismissed by an open and transparent process; and

4. Take immediate, clear and credible steps to return Fiji to democracy and the rule of law, including through a broad based and genuine dialogue between the key political parties in Fiji, and in line with calls by the UN Security Council. This will enable Fiji to again fully participate in the international community, including the Pacific Islands Forum and the Commonwealth.

Comment by Loruama Tawawili on
  • As much as Fiji wants to re engage with the International Community, it was just about 2 weeks ago that the above piece was delivered by Australia's rep on the UN Review Council. After the ambassadors of Fiji gave their word for the adherance by the illegal govt of Fiji to human rights they are at it again.
  • The grog (kava) party at the SDL office was "stormed by soldiers" in full battle gear commanded by none other than Police Commissioner Teleni's relative Vuaono. Bainimarama must be really proud of his record on abuse of human rights in Fiji. He does not realize that it is stupid incidents like that, that taints his image in the International Arena.
  • Bainimarama must know by now that no one believes in him anymore. No one trusts him anymore and no one wants to do business with him anymore. His move of having conditions for NZ and Australia to lift the travel bans on him and his illegal govt before ambassadors are appointed is systametic of a deranged nacissistic juvenile who is only thinking of himself instead of the people he purpots to lead.
  • Doesn't Bainimarama know that the travel bans on him and his illegal regime were already in place before he went on a spree of granting Persona non grata to NZ and Aust Ambassadors? He made a fool of himself then and he is still making a fool of himself now. The man is unfit to lead Fiji.
  • It is time for someone who has Fiji at heart to take away the misery that Bainimarama is causing the people of Fiji. We must have election this year for Fiji to have a chance at economic, social, physical and psychological recovery. All this can only be done by a government of the people by the people for the people and not by a Dictator.

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