Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fiji regime makes first comment on illegal decree granting itself immunity


14 April 2010

The Fiji interim regime has made its first official comment about its decree granting itself immunity from prosecution for its action relating to what it calls political events over the past decade.
The decree was issued last month covering those involved in the 2000 and 2006 coups, including Commodore Frank Bainimarama, the military and police.
The interim attorney-general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, has told the Fiji Village website that the decree is a forward looking plan.
He also says it clearly addresses the issue in relation to compensation claims.
The publication of the decree in Fiji by the local media was previously stopped by the regime’s censors.
The measure has been criticised by Amnesty International which says will enable the regime to commit more abuses with impunity.




No one should be above law, says former Fiji Human Rights Commissioner

13 April 2010
A former Fiji Human Rights Commissioner says no-one should be above the law despite a decree which grants immunity from prosecution to those involved in the country’s recent coups.
The interim government in Fiji has yet to formally comment on the decree despite repeated requests, and the Fiji Human Rights Commission says it cannot comment.
But a former Human Rights Commissioner and the coordinator of the Fiji Women’s crisis centre, Shamima Ali, says those who participated in the 2000 and 2006 coups should feel the full brunt of the law.
“The whole issue of, anywhere in the world, of taking over a government illegally and conducting coups, subjecting people, taking away people’s freedom of speech, movement, employment and so on, these are all human rights abuses that people should be held accountable for.”
Shamima Ali says despite improvements in social justice through access to social services such as water and housing, the human rights situation is continuing to deterioriate.


Amnesty International says decrees will allow regime to commit more abuses

13 April 2010
An international human rights organisation says new decrees issued by the interim regime in Fiji will enable it to commit more abuses with impunity.
The Fiji interim government is yet to formally comment on a decree which gives those involved in the 2000 and 2006 coups immunity from prosecution and civil liability.
Its also released a draft media decree which could enable the jailing or fining of journalists who breach planned content regulations.
Amnesty International’s Pacific researcher, Apolosi Bose says the regime is trying to protect itself with the immunity decree, from being held to account for human rights violations, including assaults, which occurred following the 2006 coup.
He says the media decree is the deathnail for free media in Fiji which could enable further abuses to go unreported.
“People won’t be able to hear about any human rights abuses, so even though the decree has been set up to police the media, there is nothing to police those who are policing the media, in a manner of speaking.”
Apolosi Bose says a lot of people will suffer without any means of redress because of the decrees.



Amnesty says Fiji immunity decree to deflect from abuses

13 April, 2010 
Amnesty International says a decree granting immunity to those involved in Fiji’s recent coups shows the interim regime wants to protect itself more than anything else.
The decree gives immunity from prosecution to those involved in the 2000 and 2006 coups, including Commodore Frank Bainimarama, the military and police.
The human rights organisation’s Pacific researcher, Apolosi Bose, says the decree shows the government is consolidating its authority and that talk about holding elections in 2014 is a facade.
He says the decree shows there is pressure from within the ranks to be protected from being held to account for human rights abuses that occurred during the 2006 coup.
“When they took over several activists were also beaten up. By February 2007 the military had already admitted that more than a thousand people had been taken up to the camp and had been assaulted. So they have passed it to reassure the military officers that, you know, we will look after you.”
Apolosi Bose is also criticial of the government’s draft media decree, calling it a deathnail for free media in Fiji, which will allow further abuses to occur with impunity.

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