Fiji’s proposed new constitution falls far short of international standards of human rights law and is another step backwards in guaranteeing human rights protection for all, Amnesty International said.
The draft constitution will be sent to the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau for assent on 6 September.
“Contrary to the claims of Fiji’s government over the last few months, the new constitution actually weakens human rights protections in the country,” said Isabelle Arradon, Amnesty International’s Deputy Asia Pacific Director.
The current text upholds decrees that severely restrict free speech, grants the state the power to detain people (potentially indefinitely) without charge or trial in times of emergency. It also gives state officials immunity for a wide range of acts, including crimes under international law such as torture.