13 May 2008

Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group has many concerns over Fiji

10:31 am on 13 May 2008

The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group has decided to keep Fiji suspended from councils of the organisation.

A Commonwealth foreign ministers meeting in London said they had "grave concern" that Fiji was not going to honour its commitment to hold free and fair elections within a year.

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma, explained the reasons why ministers were unhappy at Fiji's progress towards elections.

"The group continued to be concerned at reports which indicated the independence of the judiciary, and freedom of the media, were being seriously compromised, including the deportation of media personnel in contravention of court orders, and the continued militarisation of key Fiji institutions. It also expressed concern at reports of continued human rights abuses."

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma.