4 Jan 2007

Fiji Human Rights Commission releases report on coup

4:27 pm on 4 January 2007

The Fiji Human Rights Commission has released a report into the legalities of the military overthrowing a democratically elected government.

The detailed report, written by the commission director Dr Shaista Shameem, raises legal, constitutional and human rights issues regarding the assumption of executive authority by Commodore Bainimarama.

Dr Shameem says the commission investigated the legalities of the situation, dating back to the last coup in 2001.

"So in order to look at that question properly, we had to start from scratch and divide it all up to see if in view of earlier complaints we had received, as to whether the previous government had been democratically elected and constitutionally elected. And then to look at the legal situation of having a military taking over a government that was unconstitutional and illegal, its a very interesting legal point."

The Fiji Human Rights Commission's director, Dr Shaista Shameem.