30 Nov 2009

Commonwealth leaders urge Fiji to restore democracy without delay

1:46 pm on 30 November 2009

Commonwealth leaders have urged Fiji's military regime to restore civil democracy without delay and to ensure the protection of human rights.

Commonwealth leaders also called on Fiji's interim government to commit itself to what it called to a credible, inclusive and time-bound political dialogue towards the restoration of constitutional civilian democracy without further delay.

In a final statement after three days of talks in Trinidad, the 54-nation body also urged the regime led by Commodore Frank Bainimarama to protect rights of those living in Fiji.

Fiji was suspended from the organization of mostly former British colonies in September after it refused to commit to holding elections by October 2010.

Commonwealth heads expressed deep concern over the further deterioration of the situation in the Fiji islands with regard to the adherence to what they said were fundamental Commonwealth values.

The leaders also denounced in their final communique 'ongoing restrictions on human rights including freedom of speech and assembly.'

They also said a decision to suspend Fiji from the 2010 Commonwealth Games was in line with the body's principles under which 'sporting ties are inseparable from the values of the association.'