16 Feb 2010

UN calls on Fiji's interim govt to lift Public Emergency Regulations

6:52 am on 16 February 2010

The United Nations Human Rights Council says Fiji's Public Emergency Regulations must be lifted including restrictions on freedom of expression, assembly and movement.

Fiji Live online says this was one of the recommendations put forward over the weekend by the United Nations Human Rights Council at the Universal Periodic Review, UPR, currently underway in Geneva.

The UPR meet every four years to review Human Rights records of all 192 United Nations member states.

In response, Fiji's Permanent Representative to the European Union, Peceli Vocea, said the regulations currently in force is for "the interest of national security, public safety and public order".

He also added the restrictions placed on the media is "due to a lack of balanced and responsible coverage" by local journalists.

The UPR called on the Fiji interim Government to allow regular visits by "special rapporteurs" of the Human Rights Council - and for necessary measures to be in place to ensure the right of freedom and protection of all religious and minority groups in Fiji.