15 Jul 2002

Fiji human rights activists still hope to march

6:13 pm on 15 July 2002

Fiji's NGO Coalition on Human Rights is yet to hear from authorities on a second request to stage a rally during this week's summit of African Caribbean and Pacific nations with the European Union in Nadi.

The Coalition was denied a permit last week to stage the protest outside the Sheraton Hotel near Nadi.

Authorities said the march would be unprofessional, could be a threat to the protestors, and it would obstruct the free movement of summit guests along the road.

Now the NGO coalition chair Rev Akuila Yabaki says they are waiting to hear if a march in a different part of Nadi will be allowed.

He says the NGO Coalition wants to point out to delegates that the Fiji Government is breaching conditions of the Cotonou aid and trade deal that the ACP countries have with the EU.

"this one puts allot of emphasis on the role of non state actors through consultation and also the recognition of human rights, as one of the European delegates said economic rights are human rights, so the lack of solution on land the lack of commitment of government to the constitution in terms of multiparty government"