No stand-alone legislation in relation to torture in Fiji - Anti-Discrimination Commission Chairperson

No stand-alone legislation in relation to torture in Fiji - Anti-Discrimination Commission Chairperson

By Alipate Narawa
Saturday 02/12/2023
Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission Chairperson, Pravesh Sharm

At present, there is no stand-alone legislation in relation to torture in Fiji.

This was was highlighted by the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission Chairperson, Pravesh Sharma at the National Workshop on Torture Prevention in Suva with the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT), and Asia Pacific Forum for National Human Rights Institutions (APF).

Sharma says the participants considered a review of the current domestic legislations relating to torture; and were centered around prohibition of torture and other forms of ill-treatment in places of detention.

The Chairperson says the experts from the APT and APF introduced the Mendez Principles which is a guide to providing an alternative to coercive and confession-based interrogations.

He says the Mendez Principles improve the results of investigations, fully respect human rights, and enhance trust in the State.

Sharma says the possibility of establishing a National Preventive Mechanism through the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) to deal specifically with torture prevention was also discussed at the Workshop.

He adds there were 31 participants from diverse private and state institutions including the Attorney General’s Chambers, Corrections Service, FICAC, Immigration, Legal Aid Commission, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Police Force, RFMF, St. Giles Psychiatric Hospital, Social Welfare, and University Academics, attended the Workshop.

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