3 Jun 2003

Amnesty International says Fiji a bad example over ICC stance

11:23 am on 3 June 2003

Amnesty International says Fiji is setting the Pacific a bad example by planning an agreement with the US not hand over any Americans indicted by the International Criminal Court.

Fiji has ratified the Rome Treaty setting up the ICC but the US has not.

The prospective deal is thought to be linked to the restoration of full military ties with the US and as Fiji has agreed to send peacekeepers to Iraq following the US-led invasion..

Amnesty's Pacific Researcher, Heinz Schurmann Zeggel, says Fiji is claiming that signing the Rome Treaty does not stop it making separate bilateral agreements.

"it is all quite obvious that if Fiji says one thing to the International Criminal Court and then allows one particular currently powerful country in the world to say but the whole thing doesn't apply to our citizens that would be an obvious inconsistency which shows a very bad example and it would show a poor example in the Pacific in particular because everybody looks at Fiji as to how Fiji responds to such international issues."

Heinz Schurmann Zeggel.

In the Pacific, the US has already signed such bilateral deals with Tonga, Tuvalu and Nauru, and elsewhere it has such deals with several countries, including Albania, Romania, Tajikistan and Israel.