25 Jan 2007

Continuing detentions in Fiji worry human rights commissioner

2:36 pm on 25 January 2007

A human rights commissioner in Fiji says she is worried the military is continuing to detain people for questioning.

This week Richard Naidu, a prominent lawyer and critic of Commodore Frank Bainimarama's regime, was detained by the army.

It followed remarks Mr Naidu made to Radio New Zealand International questioning the constitutional legality of the new Fiji government.

The commissioner, Shamima Ali, tried to intervene, and Mr Naidu was subsequently released.

She says the continuing detentions are very concerning.

"We all fear for our safety, but I haven't. I've been involved in this since the fifth [of December - the date of the coup] and my particular concern is human rights abuses. I haven't made any direct attack on the military; I leave that for the lawyers, the legal fraternity to do."

Shamima Ali, a human rights commissioner in Fiji.