Concerns over human rights abuses ahead of Fijian election

Author
Newstalk ZB Staff,
Section
World,
Publish Date
Thursday, 8 November 2018, 4:47p.m.
Frank Bainimarama has led Fiji for over a decade. (Photo / Getty)
Frank Bainimarama has led Fiji for over a decade. (Photo / Getty)

A week out from Fiji's general elections Amnesty International is calling on all candidates to commit to tackling the country's failing human rights protections.

There are six major parties contesting the election, two of them headed by former coup leaders Sitiveni Rabuka and current Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama.

Amnesty spokeswoman Roshika Deo says Fiji's security forces are continuing to torture people.

"We just recently had reports of torture and death in police custody and in remand centres. Freedom of expression is criminalised in Fiji. There's an increasing use of sedition and other criminal provisions to arrest and attack the media."

Deo says Fiji's security forces are continuing to torture people, media workers are harassed simply for doing their job, and women are shamed and harassed for calling out violence and discrimination against them.

"We are calling on all election candidates to respect and protect and promote human rights for all and to publicly commit to meeting Fiji's and international human rights obligations."

This will be the second general election in Fiji since Bainimarama took power in a coup in 2006.

His party, Fiji First, claimed nearly 60 percent of the vote in 2014 elections.

 

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