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Fiji human rights commission calls it "rubbish"

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, February 28, 2009) – The Fiji Human Rights Commission has labelled the damning latest US human rights report on Fiji "a piece of rubbish".

"It is a piece of rubbish considering the fact that the United States does not like to point finger at themselves but are so fast at pointing at others," said FHRC chairman Dr Shaista Shameem.

According to the 2008 Human Rights report released by the US Department of State, Fiji’s interim Government denied citizens the right to change their government peacefully, engaged in intimidation of the media and restricted the right to assemble peacefully.

It adds that the judiciary was subject to political interference.

The report further highlights problems during the year included poor prison conditions, attacks against religious facilities, government corruption, deep ethnic divisions, violence and discrimination against women, and sexual exploitation of children.

Dr Shameem responded that the US State Department did not consult the relevant people before publishing its report.

"The Prisons Commissioner was not consulted for the report on the prisons, I was not consulted for Human Rights issues even though we make annual reports and the Attorney General and the Chief Justice were not consulted for the judiciary," she said.



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