30 Dec 2012

Fiji NGO queries constitution burning by police

11:37 am on 30 December 2012

Fiji's NGO Coalition on Human Rights has called on authorities to explain why 600 copies of the draft constitution were seized and the proofing copies shredded and burnt in front of the Chair of Constitution Commission, Yash Ghai.

This comes after Professor Ghai said he was intimidated by police officers at the printing shop as they poured kerosene and burnt copies of the draft document in front of him.

The regime, which commissioned the draft, has made no comment about the incident, which occurred more than a week ago.

The NGO coalition says the actions of the police demonstrate the obvious deterioration of the respect for the rule of law and a total disregard of a supposedly participatory process.

It says the people of Fiji came forward to the constitutional consultations in good faith and deserve more than just being led down a track at the whim of a few people in power.

In a statement, it asks on whose authority the police were acting.