27 Sep 2011

UN Human Rights Office rejects hypocrisy claim

2:06 pm on 27 September 2011

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Pacific has rejected claims that it ignores abuses in Fiji while looking at wrongs being committed in other countries.

The Suva-based regional representative, Matilda Bogner, responded after a Samoa's Savali newspaper accused her office of hypocrisy.

She says her organisation has stated publicly that the long term damage of undermining fundamental institutions such as the media and judiciary cannot be underestimated.

Ms Bogner says the UN has strongly urged a return to the rule of law, to the reinstatement of the judiciary and an end to media censorship.

She says this has meant criticised the Public Emergency Regulations, which seriously restricts the right to public assembly and freedom of expression, and gives the military and other law enforcement personnel broad powers of arrest and detention.

Ms Bogner says the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay and the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon have called for urgent action towards respect for human rights, the restoration of a legitimate government and constitutional order in Fiji.