US report is a “skewed interpretation” says Raj

April 8, 2021 4:42 pm

The Director of the Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission, Ashwin Raj, says he will be making comments tomorrow.

This is in regards to what he calls major discrepancies in the US State Department’s 2020 country report on Human Rights in Fiji.

The report, which does not include any input from the Fijian government, has raised issues on human rights matters, which has gathered a lot of attention.

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Raj says he will be soon responding to the report in relation to not only factual inaccuracies and scant interpretation of the law but also the substantive human rights matters emanating from these inaccuracies.

He says the report is a skewed interpretation of the law and particularly given the fact that there was neither any stakeholder consultation in the formulation of this report, nor any ethic of constructive engagement of the State Department on these human rights matters with the national human rights institution.

Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission, Ashwin Raj

The report accuses Fiji of having things such as having two sets of rules for the security forces, claiming it is politically connected, and there was impunity.

The Fijian government is yet to comment on the report, while the US Embassy’s Chargé d’Affaires to Fiji, Tony Greubel, is reported to saying that they are yet to have talks with Fiji on the report.

Greubel says that they will be talking to the Fijian government on the matter.

He says the information was gathered primarily from news articles and broadcasts and the Embassy consults a wide variety of stakeholders in government, civil society, business, academia, and other field that represent the breadth of Fijian society to provide further context and analysis for all sections of the report.

This is the second such incident involving the US, which has come under the spot light for earlier not having invited Fiji or any other prominent Pacific Island country to the climate change talks hosted by President Joe Biden.