4 Apr 2007

Fiji Human Rights Commission resigns from Asia Pacific Forum of Human Rights Institutions

4:02 pm on 4 April 2007

The director of Fiji's Human Rights Commission says they've resigned from the regional body of human rights institutions, the Asia Pacific Forum, or APF.

Dr Shaista Shameem also says they no longer support the APF undertaking a review of their operations and do not want to see them in the country.

It's the second such resignation this week by the Commission, which also withdrew from the international body, the ICC, which had suspended it.

The ICC suspended Fiji's Human Rights Commission in the wake of it releasing a statement in January which appeared to support the actions of the military in its takeover of the government.

Dr Shameem says they don't need other organisations looking over their shoulder telling them what to do.

"We have been a very productive and a good member, I think, a strong member of the APF and the ICC. I believe that there's some distance that's required at the moment between us. We will, of course, go back and re-apply for membership at some time in the future."

Dr Shameem says the ICC is asking for dialogue to continue.