8 Sep 2011

NZ Law Society notes further erosion of basic rights in Fiji

1:59 pm on 8 September 2011

The New Zealand Law Society says the ban which Fiji's Military Regime and now Police Force has placed on Methodist Church of Fiji gatherings and meetings is a disturbing development in a country where the rule of law is already eroded.

The Law Society President Jonathan Temm says the Law Society has been approached by concerned church officials who were devastated at the move.

He says the ban on religious assembly has been closely followed by charges of unlawful assembly against the President of the Fiji Trade Union Congress Daniel Urai and fellow trade unionist Nitin Gounder.

Mr Temm says the right to peaceful assembly and the freedom of religion are recognised fundamental rights.

He says the Law Society has consistently expressed its concern at decrees by the Fiji military which appear to have undermined the independence of the Fijian judiciary and interfered with the functioning of the Fiji Law Society.