29 Mar 2007

International lawyers group may send delegation to Fiji

9:07 am on 29 March 2007

The London-based, International Bar Association, which represents lawyers rights, says it is considering sending a delegation to Fiji to follow up allegations the military assaulted a prominent lawyer.

Richard Naidu was reportedly beaten up whilst taken arbitrarily into military custody in January - he had questioned the constitutional legality of the interim government.

Ben Lowings reports from London.

"The programme lawyer at the International Bar Association's human rights institute, Joanna Salsbury says it's sad that the Fiji government hasn't yet responded to a letter from the organisation. Ms Salsbury says although they have not received information about the harassment of other lawyers, that doesn't mean it's not taking place. She says an increasing deterioration in the rule of law may well affect the independence of the judiciary, and the rights of the legal profession to carry out its duties without interference."