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UN calls for review
From left, Chief Justice Anthony Gates, MIDA chairman Ashwin Raj, Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Fiji's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Nazhat Shameem and DPP Christopher Pryde attending the Universal Periodic Review of Fiji at the Human Rights Council.

UN calls for review

The United Nations Human Rights Council has recommended that Fiji consider establishing a constitutional commission to conduct a comprehensive review of the Constitution.

The council suggests that this will thereby ensure it is reflective of the will and aspirations of the citizens of Fiji, seeing that this might help to bring about a more stable political structure.

The Fiji team made a presentation to the UNHRC last week and after discussion with the group led by Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, sildenafil recommendations were made and Fiji was told to provide an update by March next year.

At the UN meet, Sayed-Khaiyum said Fiji accepted 98 out of 137 recommendations made by the Human Rights Review Council.

Fiji told the council that for the remaining 39 recommendations it was necessary to either consult with the relevant independent institutions, or to refer them to relevant government agencies for input. Out of the 98 accepted recommendations Fiji is already compliant with 12.

It was resolved that the 39 recommendations would be examined by Fiji which would provide responses in due time, but no later than the 28th session of the Human Rights Council in March 2015.

They have recommended that Fiji repeal the Media Industry Development Decree 2010 in order to end intimidation and harassment of those that express criticism of the State.

Member countries said there was a need to change the climate of fear and self-censorship and to ensure that no one was arbitrarily arrested and detained for exercising their rights.

It was also recommended that the legislative and constitutional framework be amended to maintain the separation of powers and cease any executive interference with the independence of the judiciary and lawyers and ensure the processes governing the discipline of lawyers and judges are free from political interference

The Council said Fiji could ensure respect for freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly, and association by amending aspects of decrees such as the Public Order Act Amendment Decree, the Political Parties Decree and the Media Industry Development Decree that unduly restricted fundamental freedoms.

It was suggested Fiji could create and maintain an enabling environment for civil society actors to freely associate, by amending relevant laws and ensuring they are not invoked to curtail the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.

UN NEWS CENTRE

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