23 Jun 2008

Fiji's ousted opposition leader says report into deportations backs move of military regime

6:01 am on 23 June 2008

Fiji's ousted opposition leader says the report into the deportation of newspaper's publishers, Russell Hunter and Evan Hannah, was more about justifying their removal, and not about whether their rights were breached.

The Fiji Human Rights Commission, the FHRC, claims in a report there were no breaches of human rights in the deportation of the expatriates.

It went on to say the deportations were long overdue.

The report stemmed from a complaint made to the Ombudsman, Dr Shaista Shameem, by former opposition leader, Mick Beddoes.

He says he wasn't surprised by the report's findings.

"I'm afraid to say it is consistent with the kind of reports that the human rights commission has been dishing out since December 2006, all of which are geared to justify actions by the military junta."

Mick Beddoes also says 25 pages of the report were copies of personal emails, and he has concerns about whether they were obtained lawfully.