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UN wants Fiji’s ‘emergency laws’ lifted


Feb 15, 2010 12:00:00 AM

Fiji’s Public Emergency Regulations must be lifted including restrictions on freedom of expression, assembly and movement.

This was one of the recommendations put forward over the weekend by the United Nations Human Rights Council at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) currently underway in Geneva.

The UPR meet every four years to review Human Rights records of all 192 United Nations member states.

In response, Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the European Union, Peceli Vocea said the Public Emergency Regulations currently in force is for “the interest of national security, public safety and public order”.

Vocea added the restrictions placed on the media is “due to a lack of balanced and responsible coverage” by local journalists.

The UPR also want Fiji to be a signatory to the:

(1) International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
(2) International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
(3) Convention Against Torture

It called on the Fiji Government to allow regular visits by “special rapporteurs” of the Human Rights Council - and for necessary measures to be in place to ensure the right of freedom and protection of all religious and minority groups in Fiji.

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