11 Aug 2011

Fiji attorney general says trade unionists hyocritical in complaints over arrests

1:49 pm on 11 August 2011

Fiji's interim attorney general says calls to investigate reports of harassment of unionists by the state could be interfering in the judicial process.

The International Labour Organisation is meeting with the regime today, over a new decree limiting the powers of unions, and is especially concerned with the recent arrest of two vocal unionists.

Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum says the two men were not arrested because they were trade unionists, but because they breached the public emergency regulations.

"I find it rather tragically hypocritical because some of these gentlemen who've been going offshore talk about the rule of law, independence and the judiciary, these two gentlemen have been charged and the matter is before the courts and you let the courts decide. Are you going to interfere with the judicial process?"

Fiji's Interim Attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum.

The two unionists, Daniel Urai and Dinesh Gounder, were charged with one count each of unlawful assembly, and will reappear in court next month.