NGOCHR: Respect & Protection of Human Rights
Press Release NGOCHR: Respect & Protection of Human Rights includes Civil & Political Rights
The NGO Coalition for Human Rights is extremely concerned with recent reports of a political activist detained for several hours by the Police for commemorating International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, which was on the 26th of June.
“We have continuously emphasised the call for no impunity for those that commit torture and open and impartial proceedings for State agents found guilty of arbitrary torture and will continue doing so. This recent detainment of a peaceful protestor is just another reminder of Fiji’s Commitments to the UN Convention Against Torture and that there is much still to be done by the government to uphold this global commitment,” said NGOCHR Chair, Nalini Singh.
“There needs to be meaningful regard to our return to democracy and citizen’s rights as allowed under the robust Bill of Rights, in this case, section 17 of the Constitution which safeguards the right of an individual’s freedom of expression (amongst a few others). This also highlights a growing concern on the ambiguity of our democratic environment, particularly on people’s right to peaceful protest, “she further added.
The Coalition hopes that due sense will prevail with security forces in Fiji to allow for peaceful protests, as they are part of the active citizenry. The Coalition further reiterates the call by Amnesty International for an emphasis on “a crackdown on Torture rather than Peaceful protestors.