13 Apr 2010

Amnesty says Fiji immunity decree to deflect from abuses

12:59 pm on 13 April 2010

Amnesty International says a decree granting immunity to those involved in Fiji's recent coups shows the interim regime wants to protect itself more than anything else.

The decree gives immunity from prosecution to those involved in the 2000 and 2006 coups, including Commodore Frank Bainimarama, the military and police.

The human rights organisation's Pacific researcher, Apolosi Bose, says the decree shows the government is consolidating its authority and that talk about holding elections in 2014 is a facade.

He says the decree shows there is pressure from within the ranks to be protected from being held to account for human rights abuses that occurred during the 2006 coup.

"When they took over several activists were also beaten up. By February 2007 the military had already admitted that more than a thousand people had been taken up to the camp and had been assaulted. So they have passed it to reassure the military officers that, you know, we will look after you."

Apolosi Bose is also criticial of the government's draft media decree, calling it a deathnail for free media in Fiji, which will allow further abuses to occur with impunity.