Amnesty: Don’t ‘Underestimate’ Impact Of Political Crisis In Nauru

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Amnesty: Don’t ‘Underestimate’ Impact Of Political Crisis In Nauru Removal of judges, suspension of MPs has ‘ripple effects’

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 26, 2015) – Amnesty International says the arbitrary removal of judges and suspension of parliamentarians in Nauru last year will have had a ripple effect.

Nauru, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea have been criticised in Amnesty International's annual look at human rights abuse around the world.

In its 2014 Report, Amnesty raised concerns about the rule of law and freedom of expression in Nauru.

Last January, the island's only Magistrate and Chief Justice were effectively dismissed and Amnesty's Pacific researcher, Kate Schuetze, says the impact of that can't be underestimated.

"Any small island country where you've got a small system of government and a small judiciary, any kind of interference on this scale is quite dramatic and is going to have a ripple effect across the board. And really it does interfere with that process of justice."

In June five opposition MPs were suspended for being critical of the government and speaking to foreign media.

Their pay and entitlements were also suspended and they remain trespassed from Parliament.

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