20 Mar 2015

Fiji opposition says torture convention must be ratified in full

2:27 pm on 20 March 2015

A member of Fiji's opposition Sodelpa Party says Fiji is not taking the issue of torture seriously, if it does not ratify the UN Convention Against Torture as a whole.

Fiji Parliament has unanimously endorsed the ratification of the United Nations Convention Against Torture, but is expected to do so with a number of reservations.

The president of Sodelpa's youth wing, Peter Waqavonovono, says since 2006, he's been trying to stop the state from using torture as an acceptable punishment.

He says parliament's decision to unanimously endorse the ratification of the UN Convention Against Torture is a first step in the right direction, but won't go far enough if there are reservations in place.

"The convention as a whole is very important to every citizen in this country. Especially because we have laws in country that protects perpetrators of torture, leaders who use torture as an acceptable practice. We have the immunity decree, we have a whole set of laws that protects coup makers."

The president of Sodelpa's youth wing, Peter Waqavonovono.