3 Mar 2009

Fiji NGO expects interim administration to ignore damning US report on human rights

4:52 pm on 3 March 2009

The Fiji Women's Rights Movement says it expects the interim government will ignore criticism of its human rights record in a US State Department Report.

The 2008 report on Human Rights in Fiji found the government had interfered with the judiciary, and intimidated the media and non-governmental organisations.

The report includes the case of the Fiji Women's Rights Movement's director Virisila Buadromo who was summoned before appeal court judges after calling appointments to the court illegal in a newspaper article.

She says she's pleased her case was included in the report, but she doesn't expect it will spark a change in attitude from the interim government.

"I suppose they will ignore it. I mean its to be expected they will ignore it. The thing is that the American government and other governments take those reports quite seriously. So you know this may have an impact on the kinds of funds we receive from governments that would be sympathetic to our cause."

Virisila Buadromo says the report is correct in its assessment that the government's scrutiny of NGOs has led them to practice self-censorship.