8 Sep 2011

New Zealand Law Society concerns at latest limits on rights imposed by Fiji regime

8:24 pm on 8 September 2011

The New Zealand Law Society says the ban which Fiji's military regime has placed on the Methodist Church 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 by last month's decision banning the church's annual conference for the third consecutive year.

Bans have also been extended to most other activities, apart from the normal Sunday church services.

Mr Temm says they're limitations on the freedom of assembly, freedom of religion and the right to worship.

"We see it as a very significant step, not towards a democratic return and the path that has been promoted by other Pacific nations as being the correct path for Fiji, but in fact a move away in an opposite direction because the rights of freedom to assemble as a group and as members of the public, and to practise your own religion of choice are fundamental rights in the Law Society's view, so we are concerned about the direction this is heading."