13 Apr 2010

No one should be above law, says former Fiji Human Rights Commissioner

9:50 pm on 13 April 2010

A former Fiji Human Rights Commissioner says no-one should be above the law despite a decree which grants immunity from prosecution to those involved in the country's recent coups.

The interim government in Fiji has yet to formally comment on the decree despite repeated requests, and the Fiji Human Rights Commission says it cannot comment.

But a former Human Rights Commissioner and the coordinator of the Fiji Women's crisis centre, Shamima Ali, says those who participated in the 2000 and 2006 coups should feel the full brunt of the law.

"The whole issue of, anywhere in the world, of taking over a government illegally and conducting coups, subjecting people, taking away people's freedom of speech, movement, employment and so on, these are all human rights abuses that people should be held accountable for."

Shamima Ali says despite improvements in social justice through access to social services such as water and housing, the human rights situation is continuing to deterioriate.