Tuilaepa's Joke, Lift Part of PER, No Complaints to Human Rights Commission, Anon

Next N223. JOKE OF THE WEEK.  Radio NZI reports that a Samoan high chief and his family have been banished from their village for not voting for the village candidate endorsed by PM Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi.

PM Tuilaepa is reported the same day, also by Radio NZI, with these words of advice for Bainimarama:“If he goes back to the barracks and leaves the politicians to do what they are good at, then Fiji would be a better place to live.” He says "the Commodore should leave politics alone." We see what he means!

N224.  LIFT PART OF PER.  The Citizens' Constitutional Forum (CCF) has again called for the lifting of the public emergency regulations (PER) to allow the Media Industry Development Decree 2010 to be tested. CEO Rev Akuila Yabaki says PER results in "the muzzling of free speech and expression of opinion which will lead to the emergence of blog sites as the only resort for political opinion and news for the citizens, the state and political opinion makers ... A free, fair and open media without the constraints of censorship will  allow for freedom of expression for all citizens to debate issues reasonably and openly.”

At least one readers agree. She writes: "There is NO NEWS anywhere and my daily F$1.60 spent on purchasing the two newspapers is  almost money down the drain - really, they aren't worth reading; they get worse and worse by the week. NO-ONE knows what on earth is happening in the government (if anything is!)  and the Govt isn't saying. Worse though, is that no-one seems to ASK: so what hope is  there for "informed debate" on a national level before elections? Perhaps on numbers of  acres under dalo, or cost of a new hydro scheme ... but nothing of a 'national, Fiji-in-the-world' level."

I'm surprised Government does not lift that part of PER that applies to the media (and so allow the Media Decree to be tested) while keeping in place that part of PER that places limited on free assembly.  This is not to condone this aspect of PER but to recognize that there are people in Fiji who would resort to any measure to overthrow the government.

N225. FIJI HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION. The Commission says it is aware of recent media  reports and its staff are on the alert for complaints from victims of torture and abuse at the hands of the military but it hasn’t received any recent complaints of alleged abuse, detainment or intimidation. However, the Commission is investigating earlier complaints of brutality and ill-treatment by other members of the disciplined services.

The anti-government blog Fiji Today says the public has no confidence in the Fiji regime’s Human Rights Decree and the Fiji Human Rights Commission. I wouldn't presume to know what the public think.

N226. ANONYMOUS COMMENTS. Readers will see I now allow anonymous comments although I'd still prefer all readers commenting on posts to use their real name or a pseudonym because this makes the exchange of opinions easier.

The previous requirement has been relaxed because some readers keep changing their pseudonym (making them no different from anons) and because readers can now respond to individual postings by number (e.g., N201). All other previous requirements remain, namely: "Impolite comments, and comments that attack the person and not the argument,or are irrelevant, repetitive or unhelpful to further discussion will be DELETED. All genuine comments, of whatever political persuasion, will be published if they follow these rules."


Get real said…
Seriously Croz I doubt anyone is aware a human rights commission even still exist in Fiji. And have they investigated the complaint they received since Dec 2009. no of course they have not, the military government changed the leadership, silenced and put decree in place that say you can not challange the military government on anything. So why would anyone waste their time.
Proud Fijian said…
I think the government should introduce mandatory compulsory video recording of all interrogations or police interviews.

This would be necessary to protect the police from malicious claims and interviewee from cohercion physical or otherwise to achieve a confession.

The Human rights commission maybe the one starting the move to ge this started.
Islands in the Stream said…
A Human Rights Commission in Fiji..?

'Get Real' has a point. For if there were a Human Rights Commission still around how would the non-issuance of bona-fide, new, machine-readable and chip-inclusive Fiji Passports escape their notice? This has happened once too often in the past twenty years. Every time there is an upheaval of whatever description, passports go wanting. This is unpardonable. Who would choose to travel away from Fiji with a passport containing a stapled in "piece of paper" (no matter what it might say in whatever language). We shall become the laughing stock of the entire world! Fiji Passports will be snapped up by Israeli Mossad for their next 'black Ops' - or, maybe not? Maybe they will be considered too obvious and dangerous to facsimile? Whatever. Passports are symbols of national sovereignty. They should be inviolate and always immediately available on demand for any bona fide citizen. That is an imperative right which must never be compromised.
pasifika said…
N223 - Most appropriate photo Croz.
The fact that Human Rights Commission has not received any complains is the biggest evidence that people find it ineffective and in coercion with the government of the day; military. Because the fact of the matter is that news of the torture and abuse hits the waves when its someone prominent and this doesn't eliminate the possibility that ordinary citizens who have nowhere to run like Sam Speight just revert to their daily ordinary life with a simple and plain thinking that 'lets just forget and move on' followed by 'one day mafatu'.
sara'ssista said…
What about the rather dubious reasoning given the startling increase in crime?? That people are now so much more comfortable reporting fraud, corruption and violence, they would claim that not that it ecertainly has not increased under this regime. How on earth do you explain no complaints whatsoever to the HRC? The regime is keen to imply that this is a roaring success... just like the non-reporting of previous crimes was seen as a huge success in crime reduction.
A bit more real honesty would help said…

Please spare us. The Fiji Human Rights Commission, since Dec 2006, on any honest and objective analysis, has been irrelevant in assisting in any way with the preventing or investigating intimidation and abuse by the regime which overthrew the elected government. For a start it now answers to the PM's office - and the current PM is unelected and self appointed!! Credibility is increasingly becoming as issue for this regime, particularly internationally.
If we are going to move forward as a nation, if we are going to have dialogue, then we have to be honest with each other. And surely this has to start with a sound and proper clean up of the current Fiji human Rights Commission? If you do nothing else Croz at least have a look at their current website? It is a joke. It tells us nothing - the FHRC has effectively been neutred by the regime.
Walker Texas Ranger said…
@ Sara'ssista.....

The non-reporting of violent crime is simply untrue. It was repeatedly reported but no one did anything about it. Or, on the contrary, they did do something about it: they destroyed files, took spurious reports and actively joined the thugs to frighten and threaten people wearing no identification whatsoever. No Police tags, no rank, no name, no number. But did the FHRC (if there was and is one?) handle this? No they did not. Crimestoppers International did - as they should. That is their remit. At no time in Fiji did Crimestoppers fail to address the issue of violent crime at whatever level. When it came to Serious Organised Crime: human trafficking, death threats....ditto. But how much help did we receive from the ordinary citizen or the Fiji Media? Almost none whatsoever. No investigative reporting or, worse, no reporting at all. This is and was unpardonable! And, it will NOT go away!!
Islands in the Stream said…
What the French might term "une penurie de passports" reveals a state of impending penury? This is a state in which sovereignty is threatened and where borders close upon citizens in a manner now highly reminiscent of Libya 'in extremis'. Someone has badly stuffed up. Or, there is simply no paisa/lavo to pay? Or, this is a deliberate ploy to intimidate the populace who choose and wish to travel? Not a smart idea and critically under-examined. In time, this will be shown to be so. A tendency to under-inform and to obfuscate is a symptom of other ills. Much more serious than a "paucite de passports". French was the language of international diplomacy. Sadly, no more.

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