Information on the Human Rights situation in Fiji [FJI3444]

Please find attached two previous responses to information requests (numbers 2650 and 3080) which contain information on the Human Rights situation in Fiji. At your regional Documentation Centre [telephone: (204) 983-3553] you may find a copy of the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1988 (Washington: U.S. Department of State, 1989) and its corresponding Critique: Review of the Department of State's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1988, (Washington: Human Rights Watch, July 1989), which contain chapters on Fiji, as well as the Amnesty Report 1989 (London: Amnesty International, 1989), which contains information on the 1988 human rights situation in Fiji.

As is explained in the attached and recommended sources, one of the main social problems of Fiji is its confrontational division along ethnic lines, which has led to military coups and the establishment of a native-Fijian government with a reportedly discriminatory stand.

A recent development in Fiji was the return and death of Timoci Bavadra, member of the Indo-Fijian community and leader of the opposition who died of cancer shortly after his return to Fiji, in the town of Viseisei. The government banned foreign media from Bavadra's funeral. Later, Indian temples were attacked with fire-bombs in Lautoka, Fiji's second largest city, and other places, while the Indian ambassador to Fiji was expelled following a speech considered controversial by the government of Fiji. A few people were arrested in relation to the bomb attacks on Indian temples, although details on their prosecution and current status could not be found among the sources currently available to the IRBDC. [ From East Asia Daily Report - Australasia, (Washington, D.C.: Foreign Broadcast Information Service): "Deposed leader Timoci Bavadra dies of cancer" and "Indian Ambassador discusses expulsion", 3 November 1989, pp. 56-57, "Foreign media banned from Bavadra's funeral", 7 November 1989, p. 75; "New Turns in Racial Rivalry", in Asiaweek, 17 November 1989, p. 32; "India's ambassador in Fiji expelled", The Link (Vancouver), 1-14 November 1989, p. 14.]
(FRA) France