6 Mar 2007

Fiji interim administration rejects criticism from Commonwealth Secretary-General

10:10 am on 6 March 2007

Fiji's interim administration has rejected claims by the Commonwealth secretary general, Don McKinnon, that it and the military are supporting the brutalizing of certain individuals by soldiers.

The interim attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khayum, says the comments by Mr McKinnon on Radio New Zealand International are misleading as all the alleged instances of the abuse of human rights are under investigation.

Mr Sayed-Khayum has told Radio Legend that people have been encouraged to report allegations to the Fiji Human Rights Commission which is investigating them.

The commission's latest investigation centers on 19-year old Sakiusa Rabaka who died about 10 days ago from bearings he allegedly suffered at the hands of the military and police for alleged drug offences.

Mr Sayed-Khayum also says Mr McKinnon's comments that general elections can be held within 18 months rather than the 3-year timeline set by the interim administration show that his sources of information may not be up to speed.

The interim attorney general says the reality on the ground is that the constitution mandates drawing up proper constituency boundaries and that can only be done after a census is conducted.