Fiji Prisoner has leg amputated by after “resisting arrest”…..

Fiji escapee had leg amputated because of injuries inflicted by soldiers The shameful truth at last – one of the Naboro prisoners has had his leg amputated as touted by bloggers on this forum weeks ago because of injuries inflicted by soldiers during his recapture.

Bloggers said the prisoner was being kept away from public eyes because he’d lost his leg during the messy recapture.

It was also suggested the last prisoner to be caught, Isoa Waqa, had died after being beaten – a report Fiji police rejected as rumours with the threat they would charge those spreading them.

But today the Magistrates Court was told Epeli Qaraniqio has indeed had his right leg amputated for injuries ‘allegedly’ sustained during the recapture and cannot appear in court for another fortnight.

Qaraniqio was to have fronted more than a week ago with the other escapees but did not. Police again today failed to bring him to court with the  Director of Public Prosecutions lawyer, Lisiate Fotofili, telling Magistrate Janaka Bandara it will be two weeks before Qaraniqio can take the stand.

While presenting a medical report, Fotofili told the court the dressing on Qaraniqio’s leg was only removed on Friday.

There has been no official report until now about the prisoner being forced to have his leg  amputated. Fiji media at the time ignored reports of an amputation, following instead the official line the escapees were still ‘under medical treatment.’

Qaraniqio is said to be recovering at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital where he and the other escapees were taken after being beaten by soldiers.

All of the prisoners were kept away from general medical staff and were seen and tended only by RFMF medics.

Fiji has been divided on the violence meted out by RFMF soldiers and police in the recapture of the escapees, after they managed to elude them for some time after their break out.

Many have insisted the escapees deserved being assaulted by soldiers because they’re criminals.

We say today’s official confirmation a prisoner had to have his leg amputated because of injuries sustained at the hands of soldiers is proof the regime and those carrying out its orders cannot be trusted to uphold the law and to protect citizens.

Ratu Vore
………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Naivalurua mum on injured prisoners

07:03 Today

Taken from/By: FBC News Report by: Mika Loga

Police Commissioner Brigadier Iowane Naivalurua is mum on the details of investigations in relation to the alleged assault of the five inmates who escaped from the Naboro Medium Corrections Centre last month.

They were admitted at the CWM hospital for injuries they suffered from their recapture.

They were hospitalized for about a week.

Some had their limbs plastered and needed help walking while one was on crutches they appeared in the Suva Magistrates Court.

They also had bruises to the face and limbs.

The fifth inmate is still in hospital.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

Police quiet on leg amputation of recaptured prisoner
Publish date/time: 23/10/2012 [13:03]

Police said they will not comment on the leg amputation of a recaptured prisoner, Epeli Qaraniqio until they see the medical report.
When asked by Fijivillage, Assistant Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu said nothing will be said for now as Qaraniqio is still in hospital.
He said investigations into the recapture of the five prisoners late last month is still underway but he cannot say anything further.     DPP lawyer Lisiate Fotofili has confirmed in the Suva Magistrates Court that Epeli Qaraniqio cannot attend court as his right leg has been amputated from an open wound.
Fotofili has asked for a two week adjournment.
The case will be called again before Chief Magistrate Usaia Ratuvili on the 5th of next month.
Qaraniqio is co-charged with Isoa Waqa and Solomoni Qurai in relation to the BSP and Wishbone robberies after the prison breakout.
Story by: Vijay Narayan & Tokasa Rainima

And the case continues into next year… Justice delayed…

Church ministers appear in court

Three of the four Methodist church ministers charged with participating in a church meeting in contravention of the Public Emergency Regulations appeared in court today.

Reverend Ame Tugawe, Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu and Reverend Tomasi Kanailagi were present today while Reverend Manasa Lasaro was not present.

Defence Counsel, Aseri Vakaloloma representing Kanailagi and Lasaro highlighted in court that his clients have a history of heart problem, together with diabetes and high blood pressure.

The case is adjourned to February next year.

Story by: Tokasa Rainima

Only in Fiji ..”Thank you for breaching the human rights of our escaped prisoners”

Officers thanked for recapture mission

13:01 Today

 

Taken from/By: FBC News Report by: Apisalome Coka

Police Commissioner, Brigadier General Ioane Naivalurua has commended officers for the recapture of five escapees from Naboro Prison.

Brigadier Naivalurua addressed the officers at his 3rd quarter parade at Suva’s foreshore this morning.

“I would also like to pay a special mention to those of us who worked hard especially the recapture mission, I acknowledge your hard work this morning and thank you. You did a great job in the recapture of the unscrupulous people that terrorised Suva in the period of 7 days, so well done and keep up the good work.”

Four of the inmates have been charged while the 5th is still admitted at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva.

Immunity and a process of truth and reconciliation to be considered very seriously

Immunity provisions questioned: Ghai

17:05 Tue Oct 16, 2012

 

 

Taken from/By: FBC News
Report by: Devendra Narayan

Some members of the public have raised concerns about an immunity decree in their submissions to the Constitution Commission.

And Commission chairperson Professor Yash Ghai says some people feel issues related to the provisions of immunity should be debated.

“Most people were realistic, any regime anywhere in the world will not give away powers unless they have an assurance for immunity, people are concerned that it is not for public debate or consultation, they said there should be a process of truth and reconciliation and that process can also deal with immunity.”

Professor Ghai says he initially thought the issue had been exaggerated.

“I thought maybe it is not so necessary but in view of wide spread request there is a need to consider it very seriously.”

The Commission concluded receiving submissions from the public yesterday.
It expects to have a draft Constitution by the end of the year.

Police abusing the Voter Registration Cards?

Peter,

On Tuesday morning at 5am a friend of mine was driving on the Queens Road on the Suva side of Navua when he was flagged down by a Police Officer.  The officer asked him to turn around and take him back to the Navua Police Station as he was heading to work. My friend who was also heading to work  tried to refuse.  The Police Officer then demanded to see his IDENTITY CARD. When asked what card he was told his VOTER CARD.  My friend did not have it on him so was ordered back to the Navua Police Station until he could be identified.

At the Police Station he was checked on a computer and told he could now leave to continue to Suva.

Since when did our Voter Card become an Identity Card that must be carried at all times?

Suliasi

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

UPDATE

I have asked a friend of mine who is a Police Officer and he believed the “free taxi ride story”  but he believes the PO would have asked for identification like a drivers license or his EVR.

No means of identification may have been used as an excuse for the officer to take him to the Police Station (where he wanted to go).

He assures me there is no official policy to use the EVR as an identity card but it is an appropriate and acceptable means of identification . He also raised the point that not everyone is registered so it cannot be an “identity card”

He says abusing his powers to get a free ride is the problem here not asking for identification.

Peter

Ban Ki-moon on the need for respect for human rights, accountability, transparency and inclusiveness in Fiji

Mr Ban welcomed steps taken towards elections and says the UN stands ready to support a process that would lead to the establishment of democratic order and the rule of law in Fiji. He urged Pacific neighbours to keep encouraging Fiji to make progress towards full respect for human rights, accountability, transparency and inclusiveness.”

http://www.rnzi.com/pages/news.php?op=read&id=71194

Press Release FTUC……………………Clearly the Prime Minister has been wrongly advised.

 

On June 6th the US Trade Representative in Washington DC announced that Fiji together with Iraq would be listed for General System of Preferences (GSP) hearings to examine whether the GSP for exports from Fiji should be withdrawn. The GSP Trade program allows duty free excess into the US imports from developing countries. However there are certain conditions which these countries need to observe to continue to qualify.

In Fiji’s case, the hearings would examine whether Fiji is taking steps to afford internationally recognized standards for worker rights. This comes on the heels of the regime expelling the ILO Contact mission to Fiji to examine Fiji’s compliance with the ILO Core Labour Standards. These standards are central to the determination by US Trade. Clearly the Prime Minister has been wrongly advised.

Trade Union and workers’ rights which form part of human rights have been subject of scrutiny and condemnation by International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), International Labour Organisation (ILO), Global Unions Federation (GUFS), European Union (EU), ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and numerous Governments and Trade Union National Centers around the world. This has been a result of the regime imposing various decrees that deny workers the right to collective bargaining and freedom of association. These decrees have denied workers the right to challenge unfair treatment at workplace and benefits. These decrees take away any form of job security and nullified decades old won benefits in Collective Agreements. Workers and Union leaders have been intimidated and beaten at work places. The list goes on.

It is therefore ironic that the regime should showcase a Permanent Secretary on TV reading a written statement blaming Union Leaders for the predicament that the regime finds itself having to go to Washington DC to justify its denial of workers and trade union rights in Fiji. The PS reading the statement mischievously alleges that Union leaders have a political agenda in this regard. The regime needs to admit that it is solely responsible for the situation it has got itself into and it can easily get out of this situation by doing the responsible thing and revoke all decrees that violate international labour standards and start respecting workers’ rights. The FTUC and the International Trade Union Movement will not sit back and accept such blatant violations.

Therefore the regime must stop shedding crocodile tears and pretend to be concerned about workers losing their jobs. It is time the regime takes responsibility for its actions. The regime’s decision to expel the ILO Mission will have its implications in this hearing as well. Again it can blame no one else but itself.

The FTUC will be represented by its sister National Center in the US, the AFL-CIO in the hearings.

FELIX ANTHONY

NATIONAL SECRETARY

Constitution Committee being censored by Police…………..Shamima Ali says plainclothes police are sitting in while people present submissions, stopping many of them from expressing their opinions.

Fiji media still not free: women’s rights groups

Posted at 03:55 on 31 August, 2012 UTC

Women’s rights organisations in Fiji are raising fresh concerns about censorship, following their failure to get a paid advertisement about constitutional processes into newspapers.

In July, the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre, the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement and Femlink Pacific put together a joint statement questioning the legitimacy and other aspects of the process being used to draft a new constitution.

The crisis centre’s co-ordinator says when media outlets did not give the release any exposure the groups decided this month to pay for an advertisement posing the same questions.

Shamima Ali says the fact that newspapers felt unable to print the adverstisement confirms the Fiji media is still not free.

“These are ordinary, normal citizens’ concerns that we are expressing. We are not a political party, we don’t have a political agenda. We need to know before we can participate and we believe people need to know and get these answers.”

Shamima Ali says plainclothes police are sitting in while people present submissions, stopping many of them from expressing their opinions.

News Content © Radio New Zealand International           PO Box 123, Wellington, New Zealand

Reverend John Roberts says there have also been 20 pre-court trial conferences involving charges laid against Methodist Church leaders, which have been costly for its members.

New Zealand Methodists details hardship imposed by regime on Fiji church

Posted at 03:32 on 30 July, 2012 UTC

The President of the Methodist Church of New Zealand says the Fiji branch has faced extreme hardship since the military coup in December 2006.

Reverend John Roberts recently made a solidarity visit to the Methodist Church in Fiji and concludes it is being oppressed because it had opposed the coup.

Reverend Roberts says although the church sought forgiveness and reconciliation, this was declined, and the military regime has since taken a number of actions against it including restrictions on public meetings.

“Since the coup it has not been able to have its regular annual conference. They were to have a conference last year but the permit was withdrawn the day before the conference was to begin and of course church members had travelled from outlying islands, outlying villages to come to Suva for the conference, only to discover that the permit had been withdrawn by the regime.”

Reverend John Roberts says there have also been 20 pre-court trial conferences involving charges laid against Methodist Church leaders, which have been costly for its members.

The church has permission to hold a conference this year, the first in four years.

News Content © Radio New Zealand International
PO Box 123, Wellington, New Zealand

Permit still required for Methodist Church of Fiji?…..A condition of the permit by police was that no political issues were to be discussed at the meeting and the minutes to be provided to police.

Church given green light for meeting

July 26, 2012 | Filed under: Fiji News | Posted by:

By SITERI SAUVAKACOLO

The Methodist Church of Fiji has been given the green light to go ahead with their second standing committee meeting.
This was confirmed to Fiji Sun by Church general secretary Reverend Tevita Nawadra.
A condition of the permit by police was that no political issues were to be discussed at the meeting and the minutes to be provided to police.
The standing committee meeting will be held on July 31 while the annual conference and meeting is scheduled for August 29- 31.

Press Release: NGO Coalition on Human Rights

NGOCHR commends Fiji Constitution Commission statement

Monday, 23 July 2012, 11:32 am
Press Release: NGO Coalition on Human Rights

NGO Coalition on Human Rights
Towards a Fiji that respects and protects human rights
Friday July 20, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NGOCHR commends Fiji Constitution Commission statement

The NGO Coalition on Human Rights (NGOCHR) shares the concern expressed by the Fiji Constitution Commission on the promulgation of theFiji Constitutional Process (Constituent Assembly and Adoption of Constitution) Decree 2012 and the Fiji Constitutional Process (Constitution Commission) Decree 2012.

In a statement yesterday the Commission raised concerns on aspects of the Decree giving Commodore Frank Bainimarama “full control over the size and composition of the Constituent Assembly” as well as the“broad immunity provision for the 2006 and earlier coups to be entrenched in the new constitution”.

“You cannot claim to promote or envision ’an inclusive, participatory and transparent process’ and at the same time put in place provisions that clearly undermine and violate those values,” she said.

Like the Commission, the NGOCHR agrees with the conditions imposed in the Decrees “essential principles of democracy are ignored and the independence of the [Constituent] Assembly is negated”.

The NGOCHR believes that this will have a major impact on the participation of Fiji’s people, especially women, in the constitution-making process.

“For the last couple of months various NGOs around the country, as part of their civic education programmes, have been encouraging women, especially young women to be part of the country’s constitution-making. How can we now encourage them to participate when we know that the integrity and the credibility of the process are compromised?” asked Ali.

While the NGOCHR acknowledges the temporary suspension of the requirements of permits for meetings by the State, it agrees with the Commission that the “current atmosphere in Fiji is not conducive to an open process in which Fijians can debate their future properly”.

The NGO Coalition on Human Rights urges the Interim Government to seriously re-think the promulgation of decrees that undermine democratic processes and negative impact on the people of Fiji.
The NGO Coalition on Human Rights is a coalition of civil society organisations that works towards a Fiji that respects and protects human rights
and fundamental freedoms within the framework of the rule of law.

ENDS

Now the Constitutional Commission doesn’t understand…….It says the Constitution Commission is wrong in its claims about media freedom, access to the courts, and powers of the security forces. It says the media and the courts are independent and that the security forces are subject to the country’s laws.

Fiji interim dismisses criticism from the Constitutional Commission

Posted at 08:28 on 19 July, 2012 UTC

The interim Fiji Government is rejecting the criticism levelled at its latest decrees by the Constitution Commission.

The Commission believes the new Constitutional Commission and Constituent Assembly Decrees are undemocratic.

Don Wiseman has more:

“The Commission says the push for immunity for the coup makers to be written into the constitution is undesirable. And it says controls on the media, lack of court access and the wide reaching powers of the security forces are particularly worrying. But the interim government claims the new decrees set out the framework for a free, fair, and open constitutional process. It says immunity is common in nations promoting reconciliation. The government says having the prime minister decide who can sit in the Constituent Assembly will ensure a broadly representative body is formed. It says the Constitution Commission is wrong in its claims about media freedom, access to the courts, and powers of the security forces. It says the media and the courts are independent and that the security forces are subject to the country’s laws. And it says none of the issues raised by the Commission have any bearing on its mandate as laid out by the decree that created it.”

News Content © Radio New Zealand International

Fiji’s Constitutional Commission says they ignore the essential principles of democracy as the interim Prime Minister is in full full control .

Fiji Constitution Commission strongly critical of new government decrees

Posted at 05:56 on 19 July, 2012 UTC

Fiji’s Constitutional Commission says two new decrees issued by the interim Fiji regime threaten to undermine the development of the new constitution.

It says this process requires the full participation of the people.

Don Wiseman reports:

“In a statement it says the Constitutional Commission and Constituent Assembly Decrees are an important step in adding certainty to the process, but it also says they ignore the essential principles of democracy. The Commission says the Constituent Assembly Decree gives the interim Prime Minister full control over the composition of the Assembly which will put together the new constitution. It says this is undemocratic and undermines the Assembly’s independence. The Decrees require immunity for those involved in the 2006 and earlier coups to be entrenched in the new constitution – a move the Commission says is most unusual and undesirable. It says the people of Fiji need to first be consulted on this matter with submissions to the Commission and debate on it in the Assembly. And the Commission says it remains concerned that there is not an atmosphere in Fiji that is conducive to open debate. It says controls on the media and the wide reaching powers of the security forces are particularly worrying, as is the lack of access to the courts.”

News Content © Radio New Zealand International
PO Box 123, Wellington, New Zealand

Constitution Comission raises concern on two decrees

17:00 Today

Taken from/By:
Report by: Maca Lutunauga

The Constitution Commission believes that the promulgation of the two decrees relating to the drafting of the new constitution will mean that the essential principles of democracy are ignored and the independence of the Assembly negated.

Maca Lutunauga reports.

“Commission chair Yash Ghai made the comment at a press conference today.”

“Yash Ghai says in light of the fact that members of the present government may wish to compete in the coming elections, it is important that they should not control the process that will set out the rules for elections.

“He says this will undermine the credibility of elections.”

“On the immunity decree announced yesterday, Yash Ghai says it is most unusual and they believe it is undesirable.”

“The Commission is concerned that the people of Fiji have not been consulted in any way.”

“They believe that if immunity is part of the process, it could be discussed through submissions to the Commission and debated in the Constituent Assembly.”

“Yash Ghai adds a solution could be reached that citizens believe would promote the transition to democracy and contribute to a sustained democracy as envisaged in the two Decrees.”

“Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum is expected to respond to this statement soon.”

What is it? Immunity for certain events dating back to 1987 or blanket immunity for the members of the state, the RFMF and the Police?

Clear conditions for immunity set in Fiji Constitutional Process Decree-AG

http://www.fijivillage.com/?mod=story&id=1907125c5e58a0ae00f736cfe4a6ee

Clear conditions for immunity have been set in the Fiji Constitutional Process (Constitution Commission) Decree which sets the functions and powers of the new Constitutional Commission.

Acting Prime Minister and Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the decree has come into effect as of yesterday.

The decree states that the draft constitution to be prepared by the Commission should include immunity for certain events dating back to 1987 until the next parliament sits.

Although there is blanket immunity for the members of the state, the RFMF and the Police from 2000 to date, the immunity from now until the next parliament sits does not cover sections 77 to 390 of the Crimes Decree.

It is stated that Constitutional Commission will hand the draft constitution to the President.

The President will then present the draft to the Constituent Assembly.

The functions, powers and the composition of the Assembly is defined in the new Fiji Constitutional Process (Constituent Assembly and Adoption of Constitution) Decree 2012.

Sayed-Khaiyum said under the decree, the Prime Minister will appoint the members of the assembly.

He said the Constituent Assembly must include but should not be limited to include Government, registered political parties, members of the RFMF, faith-based organisations, representatives of employers, farmers, trade unions, youth groups, women organisations and so on.

It also looks at how the media will participate in the process and the provision where the public can hear the proceedings and debate by the assembly.

Meanwhile once the assembly hands over its review of the draft constitution, the President then forwards it to the Chief Justice, who within seven days shall appoint a five-member tribunal.

This tribunal will then consider whether the draft complies with the provisions of the decree, the non-negotiable principles and the immunity provisions.

If the tribunal believes that there are certain amendments to be made, the President will give it back to the assembly with the note that they look at these provisions or the clauses that might not be compliant with the decree.

Stay with us we will have more on the decrees in relation to the preparation of the new constitution later today.

Story by: Vijay Narayan

his tribunal will then consider whether the draft complies with the provisions of the decree, the non-negotiable principle and the immunity provisions.

CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY TO REVIEW DRAFT CONSTITUTION WHEN READY

 

THE composition of the Constituent Assembly will be reflective of the diversity of the people of Fiji, says the Acting Prime Minister and Attorney General Mr Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

The assembly, which will look into the draft forwarded to it by the President after it is presented to him by the Constitutional Commission, will be guided by the Fiji Constituent Process (Constitution Assembly and Adoption of Constitution) Decree 2012.

Cabinet endorsed this decree this week and it ensures that the draft inculcates provisions such as the non-negotiable principles set out by the Prime Minister during his historic announcement in March.

The assembly will be appointed by January next year as per the Prime Minister’s announcement on timelines.

“Once the President receives the draft constitution, he will then present it to the constituent assembly, that is governed by the Fiji Constituent Process (Constituent Assembly and Adoption of Constitution) Decree, that is the other set of laws that will apply to them,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“It (the decree) talks about the staging of the process, it talks about the functions of the assembly and also the composition of the assembly, as the PM has announced that the composition of the assembly is critical in ensuring that everyone participates in this process,” he explained.

The assembly must include but should not be limited to include Government, registered political parties, faith-based organisation, representatives of employers, farmers, trade unions, youth groups, women organisation and so on.

The decree sets out the qualification of the members of the assembly and the procedures of the assembly, he said.

It also looks at how the media will participate in the process, and the provision where the public can hear the proceedings and debate by the assembly.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said there are also provisions for the continuation of the secretariat of the Constitutional Commission to continue its work for assembly if that is what the assembly wishes.

Once the assembly hands over its review of the draft, the President then forwards it to the Chief Justice, who within seven days shall appoint a five-member tribunal.

This tribunal will then consider whether the draft complies with the provisions of the decree, the non-negotiable principle and the immunity provisions.

“It is their job to ensure that the draft given to the President in fact complies with the decree,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

If the tribunal believes that there are certain amendments to be made, the President will give it back to the assembly with the note that they look at these provisions or the clauses that might not be compliant with this decree.

“If it is compliant with the decree, then the President will essentially assent to the Constitution and then that Constitution will become the Constitution of the Republic of Fiji,” the Attorney General explained.

He says the regime is trying to portray an environment of normalcy.

Fiji regime keeping up appearance of independent judiciary – Naidu

Thursday, 19 July 2012 03:33
E-mailPrint

 

RNZI: The Coalition for Democracy in Fiji spokesperson Nik Naidu says the regime is trying to keep up the appearance that there is an independent judiciary, by issuing contempt proceedings against those that criticise it.

 
The High Court in Fiji has granted leave to the Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum to issue contempt proceedings against the Citizens Constitutional Forum for publishing a report that found Fiji’s judiciary and legal system in a dire state.

Nik Naidu, who’s based in New Zealand, says it’s ironic given the regime dismissed the country’s judges in 2009 after the appeal court ruled that the post-coup interim government was illegal.

He says the regime is trying to portray an environment of normalcy.

“Part of that is to imply that there are full freedoms for all citizens of Fiji and that the rule of law still applies and that there is an independent judiciary and so all these unusual moves are most probably directed towards keeping up that sort of appearance.”

Nik Naidu.

Last week the general secretary of the Oceania Football Confederation pleaded guilty to contempt of court for comments made last year that there was no judiciary in Fiji.

– RNZI

Isn’t anyone discussing politics a politician? Naivalurua has raised the question why some people are not applying for permits. No “Politician” can talk to more than one person at a time if he mentions anything “political”. It takes seven days for him get a permit to be able to talk to two people.

Follow the law says Commissioner

http://www.fijivillage.com/?mod=story&id=1807124d14f86d3728750e6a10c128

Follow the law or face the consequences of your actions.

These are the words of Police Commissioner Brigadier General Ioane Naivalurua as he said there is serious concern in relation to some people having meetings without permits.

He said the Public Order Act and the Public Order Amendment Decree is clear on meetings and people should ensure that they apply for a permit.

Naivalurua has raised the question why some people are not applying for permits.

Director of Operations SSP Rusiate Tudravu said if politicians are discussing politics and about the constitution consultations, then they need to apply for a permit.

He said three or more people including politicians involved in political discussions is termed as a meeting and a permit is required.

Tudravu said social or festive events do not require permits but police can intervene if they have reasonable information that any issue could undermine the safety and security of Fiji.

This is based on the Public Order Amendment Decree.

Story by: Vijay Narayan & Kushboo Singh

He said there were scurrilous attacks on the judiciary thereby posing the real risk of undermining the authority of the judiciary in Fiji.

‘Real risk’ to courts

Nasik Swami
Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fiji Times

THE High Court in Suva has granted leave to the Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, to issue contempt proceedings against Citizens Constitutional Forum Limited and Akuila Yabaki.

This was announced by Mr Sayed-Khaiyum at a press conference yesterday.

He said the contempt proceedings arose out of an article titled Fiji: The Rule of Law Lost — An Analysis of the Law Society Charity Report 2012 which was published in the April 2012 edition of Tutaka, the quarterly letter of the Citizens Constitutional Forum Limited.

“The contempt proceedings have been instituted against the Citizens Constitutional Forum Limited as the proprietor of Tutaka and Akuila Yabaki as the editor of Tutaka,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“The article published by Citizens Constitutional Forum Limited and Akuila Yabaki essentially in our view scandalises the courts in Fiji.”

He said there were scurrilous attacks on the judiciary thereby posing the real risk of undermining the authority of the judiciary in Fiji.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also highlighted that his chambers had instituted similar proceedings against other parties such as The Fiji Times and Tai Nicholas.

The proceedings against CCF Limited and Akuila Yabaki will be called in the High Court on July 27.

Democracy and constitutional, free speech protections, a strong legal system and labour rights underlie economic and political success. Where does that leave Fiji as we have none of these rights?

Transparency is vital: Reed

March 01, 2012 08:59:10 AM

http://www.fijilive.com/news/2012/03/01/40556.Fijilive

Any international business will look for transparency and accountability in its operating environment.
This was a sentiment of US Ambassador to Fiji Frankie Reed at the American Chamber of Commerce, Fiji/USA Business Council Annual General Meeting yesterday.
Reed said the lifting of the Public Emergency Regulations (PER) on January 7 this year by the Fiji government was applauded by international businesses and investors.
For comparison, she said in the United States, they consistently find that their democracy and constitutional, free speech protections, a strong legal system and labour rights underlie economic and political success.
By Ropate Valemei