18 Feb 2008

Fiji's IBA ban shows Government worried about human rights record - NZ Prime Minister

8:27 pm on 18 February 2008

The New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark says the ban placed on the International Bar Association entering Fiji shows the interim Government is extremely sensitive over its poor human rights record.

The IBA planned to be in Fiji this week but says it has been banned by the interim Government - something the Attorney General denies.

Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyam says the IBA was merely advised its visit was ill-timed and that they are welcome at some future date.

But Helen Clark says a lot can be read into the Government's refusal to let the IBA in.

"The International Bar Association would very much stand for upholding the rule of law and constitutions and peoples' individual rights and liberties, so I think we can read quite a lot into the refusal to have them visit Fiji."