8 May 2009

Amnesty calls for international pressure on Fiji to restore rule of law

4:24 pm on 8 May 2009

Amnesty International says the early release from prison of soldiers and police in Fiji shows that the international community must pressure the interim government to restore the rule of law.

Eight soldiers and a police officer have been released despite being sentenced in March to four years in prison for the manslaughter of Sakiusa Rabaka in 2007.

Another army officer, Maika Vuniwawa, has also been granted release after being sentenced in April to three years in prison for manslaughter.

Amnesty International's spokesperson in New Zealand Margaret Taylor says the cases send a message to army and police officers that they can now get away with murder.

She says the human rights organisation is encouraging governments to apply more pressure on Fiji to prevent further human rights abuses.

"To highlight the grave concerns we hold regarding Fiji and its failing human rights record as we speak, and to encourage governments around the world to apply what pressure they can to ensure that the constitution is returned to and the rule of law also is returned to by the Fijian government."

Amnesty International spokesperson Margaret Taylor