25 Oct 2011

Global Union call to dump Fiji leader from Geneva talks

4:05 pm on 25 October 2011

The General Secretary of the UNI Global Union, Philip Jennings, has called on the International Telecommunication Union to withdraw its invitation to Fiji's Commodore Frank Bainimarama to address the ITU World Conference in Geneva.

Fiji's interim prime minister is among the dozens of people listed as speakers but Mr Jennings says the invitation brings shame on the ITU by giving a public and global platform which the Fiji leader is using to legitimate his regime.

Mr Jennings says Fiji is a country acting in fundamental breach of the UN's Human Rights policy and in contradiction to the ILO Core Labour Standards.

The regime has been accused of assault, harassment and intimidation of trade union leaders and their families and of curtailing trade union and civil rights of freedom of expression, access to media and the freedom of assembly.

However, Fiji's Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has told the Fiji Sun that the invitation to speak is a high compliment to the Bainimarama government by peers in the world community.