15 Dec 2006

Fiji coup appointment triggers resignation

4:27 pm on 15 December 2006

A member of the Fiji Human Rights Commission is reported to have resigned in protest at the military's appointment of a former government official, Rodney Acraman, as Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman automatically becomes the chairman of the Human Rights Commission.

The Fijilive news website says lawyer, Sevuloni Valenitabua, has resigned from the commission in protest.

The Fiji Women's Rigjhts Movement has criticized the Human Rights Commission for accepting Mr Acraman's appointment.

The Movement's director, Virisila Buadromo, says the acceptance implies a tacit acknowledgement of the authority of the illegal regime.

Meanwhile, a senior officer of the Fiji navy, Lieutenant Commander Bradley Bower, has also resigned.

The military spokesman, Major Neumi Leweni, has confirmed the resignation but added that he does now know whether it had anything to do with the coup.