27 May 2004

Amnesty report highlights Pacific human rights concerns

10:23 am on 27 May 2004

The human rights group, Amnesty International, has cited three Pacific nations as places of concern, in its annual report.

Amnesty says allegations of police brutality have increased in Papua New Guinea, whilst conditions in detention facilities have deteriorated.

It notes Indonesia's ban on peaceful expressions of support for independence in Papua and the jailing and torture of several people, Australian Associated Press reports.

The organisation says Fiji's government is continuing to follow what it describes as "a policy of encouraging indigenous Fijian dominance over the mainly Indo-Fijian non-indigenous community".

Amnesty says "political and economic stability has improved", but it adds that criminal investigations into the coup in 2000 highlight a power struggle and what it called the "ongoing problem of impunity for human rights abuses".

Tonga was cited for its attempts to control the news media and curb freedom of speech.

But the group says a return to human rights is under way in Solomon Islands after moves to restore law and order.