24 Mar 2010

Samoa NGO criticises govt's commission of inquiry choice

8:28 am on 24 March 2010

The Samoa Umberalla Group for NGO's says the government has been discriminative with it's choice of who will be part of the Commission of Inquiry in to the Freedom of Religion.

A Commission of Inquiry has been set up to look at whether Freedom of Religion is being exercised too widely and whether there is a need to institute corresponding laws or regulations.

The government says freedom of religion has somehow posed a direct challenge to the autonomy of the village council.

The head of SUNGO Vaasiliifiti Moelagi Jackson says to take away the freedom of religion is against human rights.

"Further more we are very very disappointed that the commission that they have selected there has been an absence of women, there are no women in there, they are very discriminative, other churches are not included and they should all be there and voice their own values and why they are here and why there is a need of a new church."

Vaasiliifiti Moelagi Jackson says just the major churches, like the christian congregational and catholic church, are part of the commission.

She says the commission should look at having guidelines where the churches must be registered and their books audited.