Friday, May 22, 2009

Two Sides to the Story (At Least)

There's at least two sides to every story. And the truth may lie somewhere in between.


It is in the interest of balance in journalism that we published a Press Release sent to us by the Citizen Constitutional Forum (CCF).


This created a flurry of emails from all and sundry, some commending us and some not so pleasant ones.


Well, Loyal Fijian stands for Fairness and Freedom.


Loyal Fijian does not believe in telling people what to think, but encourage people to think for themselves.


It is in this pursuit that we have decided to publish another press release from the CCF, this one in relation to the Fiji Human Rights Commission (FHRC).


But not without adding our voice of reason and balance first.


The FHRC as we all know has come under criticism from the anti-G forces, with allegations being made against the Chairperson that she is too soft on the IG and not taking a hardline against them.


Under Dr Shaista Shameem, the FHRC has published papers which some claim seeks to legitimise or justify the events of December 2006.


Now it seems, that there has been a bit of a falling out and the FHRC finds itself wit much reduced powers. And, the positions of those involved with the FHRC is starting to change.


Well, well, well.


But our job is to give voice to the voiceless and encourage balance and fairness in the reporting. So we will  cede to your request and publish your statement.


But, this is not to be seen as an endorsement of the views contained therein.
Media Release


Curtailment of FHRC powers is unfortunate


The Citizens' Constitutional Forum (CCF) describes the curtailment of the status and powers of the Fiji Human Rights Commission (FHRC) by a Presidential decree as unfortunate, however, CCF reminds that the international human rights mechanisms can still be utilised under the various human rights declarations and conventions.


CCF calls on the Caretaker Government to restore the 1997 Constitution and the judiciary, so that those arrested or detained under the State of Emergency regulations have a chance of fair treatment from the law.


"The decree prevents the FHRC from receiving complaints against, investigating, questioning or challenging the legality or validity of any Decrees made by the President. It is interfering with the independence of the FHRC," Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rev Akuila Yabaki said.


"The FHRC will now be unable to perform the key role of acting as a watchdog of the government as it is no longer allowed to make recommendations on the implications of any proposed law or policy that may affect human rights," Rev Yabaki said.


"However, Fiji's government is still accountable to the international human rights bodies and has obligations to protect and respect core human rights and provide progress reports to the international community represented by the various treaty bodies," Rev Yabaki said. "Fiji, as a member of the international community and a recipient of aid money, has obligations to uphold core human rights."


"Concerned citizens can still utilise the international mechanisms available – such as the reporting and complaints procedures available through the Optional Protocols and the UN Committees for human rights conventions and declarations," Rev Yabaki said.


For further information, please contact CCF Executive Officer Rev Akuila Yabaki on ph: 3308379, fax: 3308380.






Rev Akuila Yabaki

Chief Executive Officer

1 comment:

Samantha said...

Well done Loyal.