13 Feb 2014

Amnesty International calls for NZ to take stand over human rights in Fiji

8:12 pm on 13 February 2014

Amnesty International is urging New Zealand's foreign minister, Murray McCullly, to put human rights on the agenda during his diplomatic visit to Fiji.

Mr McCully and Australia's foreign minister, Julie Bishop, will arrive in Fiji on Friday as part of the Pacific Islands Forum's Ministerial Contact Group.

During the two-day visit, the delegation will meet a range of groups and Fiji government representatives to produce a report updating Forum leaders on election developments.

Amnesty's Fiji campaigner, Michael Hayworth, says the ministers should take the opportunity to raise critical issues such as Fiji's restrictions on freedom of expression.

"In the lead-up to elections, we are seeing a crackdown on free speech, we are seeing people not able to protest, and we are of course seeing people not being able to join trade unions or non-government organisations. Fiji really needs to take a U-turn on these human rights abuses and the Australian and New Zealand governments need to play a role in that by raising their issues with their counterparts."

Amnesty's Fiji campaigner, Michael Hayworth.