7 Sep 2012

Fiji Constitution Commission head concerned people too intimidated to appear

3:03 pm on 7 September 2012

The head of Fiji's Constitution Commission says there are people too intimidated to appear, but it is hearing a range of views.

Women's organisations in the country have alleged plainclothed police officers are attending the hearings and taking notes and people are afraid to speak out.

The Commission's head, Professor Yash Ghai, says a lot of people have been speaking frankly, but it's entirely possible others don't come at all.

"It's hard to say how many people are being deterred by...the police. I have noticed in some meetings when the police are taking notes that people seem to be speaking freely. But I know that some people have told me that they are a bit uneasy when the police are sitting there, so it's a mixed reaction, I would say."

Professor Yash Ghai says while anyone can watch the hearings, when he has detected police taking notes, he has asked them to leave.