SODELPA Leader Sitiveni Rabuka has raised concern with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on the arrest and interrogation of three journalists on Sunday by Police and Rabuka says that he hopes the High Commissioner would urge the government to respect media freedom by repealing the
Media Decree 2010 and to cease the intimidation of media personnel in the country.
Rabuka says SODELPA considers Fiji the most beautiful country however sadly he has to report to the High Commissioner that over the last 12 years, they have experienced and observed the erosion of human rights in terms of freedom of individual expression and media freedom which are basic fundamentals of democracy.
He says SODELPA and five other political parties in 2017 raised the need for urgent electoral reforms to ensure free and fair elections.
Rabuka says they continue to dialogue with the Electoral Commission on these issues, though the government has remained adamant that the system will remain substantially the same.
The SODELPA Leader then said that he continues to have doubts and reservations on free and fair elections in 2018.
Rabuka also claims that there is mistrust and fear among and within the different communities because the government policy agenda favours a select few rather than the nation as a whole, and the private sector which is considered the ‘engine of growth’ is ‘playing a wait and see game,’ due to the lack of confidence for new and additional investment necessary to grow the economy to its full potential.
He says the desecration of places of worship is also a major concern.
Rabuka says the rise in intolerance and disrespect for cultures and religion is worrying.
He says SODELPA recognises and reaffirms the freedom and dignity of all religions and the right to freedom of opinion and belief.ADVERTISEMENT Listen to the latest news on our 5 radio stations Legend FM, Viti FM, Radio Sargam, FM96 and Navtarang.