19 Jul 2007

Fiji and NZ travel bans petty - says CCF

11:31 am on 19 July 2007

The Citizens Constitutional Forum says travel bans imposed on people by Fiji's interim administration and the New Zealand government are petty.

The CCF's executive director says the bans imposed by the two countries can infringe one of the basic human rights - that of freedom of movement.

The Rev Aquila Yabaki says the bans are affecting people's freedom of expression and may be hindering efforts by Fiji citizens to move the country out of the current economic slump.

He says the New Zealand government's bans could be could be contributing to the militarization of Fiji's civil service because ordinary people are hesitant to take up appointments due to travel restrictions.

On travel bans imposed by the Fiji administration, the Rev Yabaki says they are inconsistent because they are imposed and then lifted without any explanation.

He says travel bans are normally imposed only on people who have serious criminal records or are being investigated for serious criminal activity.

The Rev Yabaki says sufficient reasons and evidence must be provided before any bans are imposed and those affected must be informed in writing immediately.