1 Apr 2008

Fiji Human Rights Commission wants probe of Australia's pre-coup role

2:44 pm on 1 April 2008

The Fiji Human Rights Commission is calling for an inquiry into the Australian involvement in Fiji leading up to the coup in December 2006.

The commission has released a report which states that in the days before the coup, Australian warships were in Fiji's waters, and the Fiji military was securing strategic sites against what it felt was an imminent foreign invasion.

The Commission's chair, Dr Shaista Shameem, says a deeper look needs to be taken at the issues.

"The reaction of everyone to that whole event of December the fifth, should be put in the perspective of things that were leading up to that event as well. So I think that I can't really make any more comment than I have already...I think people will be able to read between the lines, if not see quite clearly from the chronology exactly what was going on on December the fifth."

Dr Shameem says recent comments by Australia's foreign affairs minister should raise eyebrows, given the information in the report.