10 Apr 2017

Call to keep human rights out of Fiji politics

5:11 am on 10 April 2017

The Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission is calling on political parties not to politicise human rights issues leading up to elections next year.

Its director Ashwin Raj told FBC News that he had only ever spoken out against racism, discrimination and hate speech.

He says his stance should be supported by all political leaders.

Mr Raj's comments follows calls by the parliamentary opposition parties for him to step down.

Fiji Human Rights and Anti Discrimation Commission Director Ashwin Raj..

Fiji Human Rights and Anti Discrimation Commission Director Ashwin Raj. Photo: RNZI

The leader of the Social Democratic Liberal Party Sitiveni Rabuka labelled Mr Raj a co-oppressor with the FijiFirst government.

And the National Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad said Mr Raj was trying to stifle political parties by suggesting that social media should be regulated.

Mr Raj declined to comment to questions about human rights abuses committed in the aftermath of the 2000 mutiny.

In 1987, Mr Rabuka led two military coups which led to severe attacks on the media.

Both Mr Rabuka and the 2006 coup makers have constitutionally guaranteed immunity against prosecution for abuses committed during the overthrow of the respective elected governments.

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