30 Oct 2015

Fiji urged to finalise joining up to key UN anti-torture treaty

8:01 am on 30 October 2015

A human rights advocate in Fiji Peter Waqavonovono says the government should finalise signing up to a key international anti-torture treaty.

fiji flag at parliament

Photo: RNZI/ Sally Round

Parliament unanimously agreed to ratify the UN Convention Against Torture in March but the government said it would be ratified with reservations.

At the time the Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama told Parliament ratification sends a strong message to the rest of the world that torture would not be tolerated in Fiji.

But Mr Waqavonovono said seven months on, the convention remains unratified.

"Fiji has gone out into the international community. We're proclaiming that we have signed a United Nations convention against torture but I have discovered through the UNCAT's website that we are not a signatory as yet. We haven't actually stated reservations, if there are any, and I think government needs to be more proactive."

Mr Waqavonovono says to bring real justice to torture victims in Fiji, the treaty should be ratified without reservations and local laws changed to fit.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs