18 Sep 2007

UNHCR concernd about Fiji re-imposing emergency rule

1:03 pm on 18 September 2007

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has expressed concern about the re-imposition of the public emergency regulations in Fiji.

In a statement, Louise Arbour says such far reaching restrictions on human rights may only be introduced at a time of public emergency when the life and existence of a nation is threatened.

Ms Arbour says the impact of the measures imposed in Fiji is heightened by the increased pressure being placed on the country's judiciary.

She says six expatriate court of appeal judges resigned recently to protest the acting chief justice's handling of administrative matters of the court.

Ms Arbour has also stressed the need for the Fiji Human Rights Commission to play an effective and independent role in addressing current human rights challenges in Fiji in line with international standards laid down in the Paris Principles.