Despite the pathetic presentation made by Peceli Vocea, who is now very evidently Fiji's treasonous Permanent Representative of Fiji to the European Union, the reactions of the Working Group members to Fiji's submission was overwhelmingly clear -- Fiji's glossed over submission was not bought, and the Working Group clearly expressed their serious concerns on the status of human rights in Fiji especially related to the lack of freedom of expression, the lack of media freedom, the lack of independence of the judiciary, and the muzzling of public opinion via the Public Emergency Regulations.
"As I make this contributions the Government of Fiji, together with thousands of my fellow citizens eagerly awaits the outcome and recommendations of this process"
"I respectfully wish to draw the attention of the working group to these salient factors in assessing the human rights situation in Fiji it is utterly vital that the following is borne in mind: Fiji is a country in political transition. Fiji is now being governed under a new legal order and the Government of the Republic of Fiji welcomes this interactive reporting process and regards it as an opportunity to declare the current status of its human rights situation employing such a status as a benchmark for future human rights reporting, hoping that in areas found wanting, it will be improved upon in future reviews."
"I must admit however that in the preparation of the national report two prominent non government organisations namely the Fiji Women's Rights Movement and the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre refused outright to participate in the consultation process. The Government respects their stance but would urge the Council to encourage cooperation and partnership between NGO's and Government's, especially in the field of human rights.
Fiji is such a small country going through a period of political transition. The Government and the women of Fiji need this cooperation to further improve the status of women in Fiji."
- New Zealand
- Republic of Korea
- United States of America
- Argentina Mexico
"Mr President concerns has been raised in relation to the general theme of rights to life, liberty, and security of persons. References were made specifically on allegations of death whilst in police or military custody. I am to report that all cases involving death in custody have been dealt with by the courts. Perpetrators of human rights breaches involved in these cases have all been charged, prosecuted and convicted.
Given their publicity I wish to highlight 4 cases in particular. First involving Mr Josefa Baleiloa. Reports and allegations that this case has not reached the court due to files gone missing is misleading. The office of the Attorney General, on the request of the magistracy is now conducting an inquest into this case.
The case regarding Mr. Tevita Malasebe has been heard and disposed of by the courts. Offenders are now serving time.
Further the 9 officers involved in the manslaughter of Mr Sakiusa Rabaka were tried and all convicted by the High Court.
So was the case involving the death of Mr. Nimilote Verebasaga. The officers involved were also convicted of manslaughter.
Offenders in the Rabaka and Verebasaga case have been released on compulsory supervision order. Section 65 of the Fiji Prisons Act gives the Minister responsible for the prisons service the discretion of releasing prisoners under compulsory supervision order.
I am also to report that the Fiji Police and the Fiji Military Forces are now actively engaging in training campaign to teach their respective force members of best human rights practices including conduct during emergency situations.
Mr. President concerns were also raised regarding alleged incidents of arbitrary arrests and detention of human rights defenders and pro-democracy activists. Information gathered by Government confirms that the authorities who ordinarily would have the responsibility of receiving complaints and conducting investigations into these alleged claims, did not officially receive any. "
These kinds of performances can no longer be hidden behind a justification such as the need to put food on the table.
They have just included themselves in the now expanding line-up of parties to The Hague.