3 Apr 2007

Fiji's Human Rights Commission defends resignation from ICC

10:53 am on 3 April 2007

The Fiji Human Rights Commission has defended its decision to resign from the world governing body of human rights organisations.

The resignation came after the International Co-ordinating Committee of Human Rights organisations, the ICC, suspended the Fiji Human Rights Commission.

The Commission's director, Dr Shaista Shameem, says the resignation means absolutely nothing because the ICC is similar to a boy scouts club, with membership neither essential nor compulsory.

The Fiji Times quotes Dr Shameem as saying they have an issue with the Asia Pacific Forum because they were not given an opportunity to be heard.

She says they only heard about their suspension through rumour and the media.

She says the ICC is dominated by Western European nations, Australia, New Zealand and the United States who decided on things and tried to impose restrictions on the Fiji body.

Dr Shameem says the Fiji commission resigned to consolidate themselves as a national body and concentrate on their national priorities which are outlined in the constitution.