14 Mar 2007

Fiji President announces extension of emergency regulations

8:58 am on 14 March 2007

Fiji's president has extended the Public Emergency Regulations for another 30 days until early next month.

Ratu Josefa Iloilo's decision has been announced in a special edition of the Official Gazette which says the extension was made after taking into account what was in the best interests of the people of Fiji.

The Emergency Regulations restrict a number of rights and freedoms granted in Fiji's 1997 Constitution.

These rights include those governing personal liberty, freedom from servitude and forced labour, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of association, labour relations and the right to privacy.

The Fijilive news website says the interim administration has used the Public Emergency Regulations to remind public sector trade unions protesting the 5% pay cut and mandatory retirement ages in the civil service that their labour rights are restricted.

The interim administration says any strike, even if it follows labour laws, would be considered illegal under the Emergency Regulations.

The Emergency Regulations can be further extended after they expire in early April.