Raj aware of report

Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission Acting Director Ashwin Raj attend the Regional Legal Aid Conference in Natadola. Picture: REINAL CHAND/FILE

THE Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission says it needs to look at the recommendations, in totality, made by the United Nations Human Rights Council for Fiji to repeal or amend the Media Industry Development Decree 2010, the Public Order (Amendment) Act, and the sedition provisions of the Crimes Act.

Director Ashwin Raj said he was aware of the recommendations from the UN under its Universal Periodic Review of Fiji but needed more time to respond to the issue.

“I am in the middle of something, I will give you a written response,” he said.

“Just give me a couple of days, I am just into something urgent.

“When I read the story, I am looking at the recommendation in its totality, the reason why I am staying quiet is also because we understand Fiji is going through that process in March.

“I am looking at the recommendations from the view of the Fiji Human Rights Commission in totality, the ones that affects us and the number of recommendations that affects freedom of expression, rights of journalists and all of that.

“I will give a full statement next week,” he said.

In its final Universal Periodic Review report published on December 23, 2019, the UN Human Rights Council also said Fiji should avoid “abusive interpretations’ of any journalistic publications”.

It asked Fiji to respect the rights of journalists and remove or change legislation which stifled press freedom.

The UNHRC has given Government until February 24 to respond to its recommendations and how it will address the concerns.

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