2 May 2007

Deposed Fiji leader says regime must provide of threat used to justify state of emergency

9:04 am on 2 May 2007

The deposed Fiji prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, says the extension of the state of emergency in the country is unfortunate because the government is going back on a deal it made with the European Union.

He says his information was that the interim government had agreed to lift the regulations this week.

Mr Qarase says reneging on such an agreement is very serious for Fiji's international reputation.

"The should provide evidence of the alleged national security threat. It seems quite easy for the interim government to come up with this excuse every time the emergency regulations expire."

Mr Qarase says he had been hoping that the restrictions would have been lifted so he would be able to start moving around freely.

Since the coup in December last year he has been confined to his home island - which he says is a gross abuse of his human rights.

He says his legal challenge to the interim government was back in court today and an agreement reached that on June 11th a hearing is due to hear his motion questioning the restrictions on his movement.