30 May 2008

Fiji human rights commission chair says calls for apology for human rights abuses a publicity stunt

3:28 pm on 30 May 2008

The Fiji Human Rights Commission says apologising for human rights abuses would only be a publicity stunt.

Fiji features in Amnesty International's annual human rights report, which highlights 150 of the worst offending countries in the world, and the organisation says the interim government should apologise.

The report says there are attacks on the basic protections of human rights, including attacks on the media, attacks on the judiciary and complicity of the human rights commission.

The Commission's chairwoman, Shaista Shameem, says Amnesty needs to get its facts right.

"It's like a publicity stunt. It sounds like a publicity stunt. And any world leader, or any Prime Minister, or president, whatever, can apologise till the cows come home. But it's actually what happens at ground level that's really important. I mean we've leaders coming and going, anyone can apologise."

Shaista Shameem says the report is out of date, and ignores that a number of complaints have been resolved.