14 Apr 2010

Amnesty International says decrees will allow regime to commit more abuses

10:00 am on 14 April 2010

An international human rights organisation says new decrees issued by the interim regime in Fiji will enable it to commit more abuses with impunity.

The Fiji interim government is yet to formally comment on a decree which gives those involved in the 2000 and 2006 coups immunity from prosecution and civil liability.

Its also released a draft media decree which could enable the jailing or fining of journalists who breach planned content regulations.

Amnesty International's Pacific researcher, Apolosi Bose says the regime is trying to protect itself with the immunity decree, from being held to account for human rights violations, including assaults, which occurred following the 2006 coup.

He says the media decree is the deathnail for free media in Fiji which could enable further abuses to go unreported.

"People won't be able to hear about any human rights abuses, so even though the decree has been set up to police the media, there is nothing to police those who are policing the media, in a manner of speaking."

Apolosi Bose says a lot of people will suffer without any means of redress because of the decrees.