29 May 2008

Fiji and PNG criticised in Amnesty report

2:11 pm on 29 May 2008

Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Australia have made it onto Amnesty International's Annual human rights report with Fiji attracting the most criticism.

150 countries are featured in the report which highlights the state of the world's human rights.

Papua New Guinea is criticised for its high levels of violent crime, the police's inability to guarantee security, the proliferation of illegal small arms and violence against women.

The charity highlights Australia's discrimination against indigenous people and its counter terrorism laws.

The situation in Indonesia's Papua region is also mentioned, with with increasing targeted attacks and threats against human rights activists and church leaders highlighted.

The report also refers to the number of possible prisoners of conscience which increased sharply with up to 76 people detained for peacefully expressing their political or religious views.

But Amnesty's New Zealand spokesperson Margaret Taylor says Fiji's problems are the most serious.

"Strong disappointment because what we are seeing is attacks on the basic protections to guarantee human rights in any country in Fiji and that does include attacks on the media, attacks on the judiciary and of course there's a level of complicity of the human rights commission in Fiji itself. Very disappointing."

Amnesty's New Zealand spokesperson Margaret Taylor .