16 Jan 2012

ITUC condemns Fiji public order decree

9:36 am on 16 January 2012

The International Trade Union Confederation says a new decree introduced by Fiji's military rulers ten days ago has cemented the dictatorship of the self-styled leader Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

The Brussels-based body says the new decree, amending the Public Order Act, incorporates and expands many of the powers found in the public emergency regulations which have been lifted.

Its General Secretary, Sharan Burrow, says the Confederation condemns the continued and unacceptable limitations on freedom of association and assembly, and the absence of any legal recourse..

Under the new provisions, she fears the existing de facto ban on trade union activity could remain in place, and trade unionists can be detained or imprisoned for many years for carrying out legitimate trade union activities.

The Confederation says the decree gives the military the power to perform police functions, with the military now even further entrenched in the civilian affairs, which is expected to lead to further serious abuses of civil and political rights.