17 Oct 2006

Record number of remand prisoners in Fiji apply for bail

10:58 am on 17 October 2006

A record number of remand prisoners in Fiji - many of them facing serious charges including murder - have applied to be set free on bail.

The Fiji Sun reports that another 35 remand prisoners have applied for bail citing inhumane conditions at Suva Prison.

The newspaper says the requests stem from a unanimous ruling by three High Court judges on October the 6th freeing 7 remand prisoners because of inhumane, degrading and unhygienic conditions in the prison's remand block.

The Legal Aid Commission has confirmed that the prisoners have applied for bail on the grounds that their constitutional rights are being breached.

Legal Aid lawyer Resina Seinikuruciri says she will file the applications in the High Court registry this morning.

The Fiji Human Rights Commission has previously produced three reports calling for the remand block to be closed because prison authorities have failed to rectify its inhumane conditions.