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NZ Govt must push for fair play in Fiji elections

8 August 2014

NZ Govt must push for fair play in Fiji elections

The New Zealand Government needs to do more to push for human rights and media freedom in Fiji as it stages its first election since the 2006 coup, the Green Party said today.

Amnesty International has released a report which documents torture, workers' rights violations and concerns about the lack of government accountability. Amnesty International has criticised Fiji's human rights record and called on its government to play fair and respect human rights in run up to the September Fijian elections.

“We welcome the first election since the Bainimarama coup, but the Green Party has concerns over how free and fair it will be,” Green Party global affairs spokesperson, Kennedy Graham, said today.

“Under the Bainimarama regime there continues to be breaches of fundamental human rights, with repression of opponents of the regime, trade unions, and the media.

“Fiji workers have lost the right to strike under current draconian legislation, and trade union officials are being intimidated and harassed.

“If Fiji wants to move from dictatorship to democracy these laws must be repealed.

“It must also clean up its prison system where there are numerous reports of beatings and ill-treatment of inmates.

“The forthcoming election should be a positive step, but it is New Zealand’s duty to monitor human rights in Fiji, as much as anywhere else,” said Dr Graham.

The Green Party calls on the New Zealand Government to state whether it believes the preparation for the Fiji election has been sufficiently transparent and fair to date, to ensure a free and fair election.

ENDS

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