19 Apr 2010

Australia rejects call to review support for Vanuatu police

1:13 pm on 19 April 2010

There's no sign that the Australian Government will end its backing of the Vanuatu police despite calls for it to do so.

Transparency International says Canberra should sever its links following a Coroner's report which described elements of Vanuatu's police as dysfunctional and showing no respect for the rule of law.

Don Wiseman has more.

"Australia's Department of Defence has for many years provided training support for both the para military Vanuatu Mobile Force and the main Vanuatu Police Force. A media spokesperson says, in the past, Australia has raised concerns about the treatment of prisoners and it is working with the police to help it adhere to the rule of law and to protect human rights. The spokesperson says Canberra has strongly urged the Vanuatu Government to respond to the concerns raised in the Coroner's Report and take whatever steps are necessary to safeguard the human rights of all its citizens. But Transparency's Marie Noelle Ferrieux Patterson says the Coroner's Report requires a stronger response from Australia, with a threat to withdraw support if the rule of law is not followed. The Vanautu Government meanwhile is promising a commission of inquiry."