7 Jan 2012

Fiji emergency rule ends as new public order act comes into force

5:45 am on 7 January 2012

The Fiji interim government has lifted its public emergency regulations from today but warns it will not tolerate an iota of disruption to the peace, safety and stability of the country.

Today's step was announced by the interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, in his New Year's address.

In further comment yesterday, he said the emergency powers provided stability to allow for reforms and change which he says have been for the betterment of society.

His regime imposed the restrictions, which gave police and the military extensive powers, after the appeal court ruled in 2009 that his post-coup interim administration was illegal.

Yesterday, Commodore Bainimarama also announced that the Public Order Act had been modernised.

He says it limits the arrest period to 14 days before a suspect is to be brought before the court, which he says contrasts to provisions in the US where people can be held for undefined periods on suspicion of terrorism.