Head of state
President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau
Head of government
Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama

People’s rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly continued to be restricted under military rule. Political leaders and human rights defenders were arrested and charged with serious offences, in some cases leading to imprisonment. Concerns remained about the rule of law and independence of the judiciary.


In July, a process for reviewing the Constitution was established by decree. Under the process, participants in the 2006 coup were given full immunity from prosecution. The Constitutional Commission, established in April 2012, and others expressed concern about the review process. Despite earlier public consultations, the process was amended in November to prevent public consultation on a draft Constitution before it could go before the Constituent Assembly.

Top of page

Freedoms of expression, association and assembly

In January, the Public Order (Amendment) Decree replaced the Public Emergency Regulations, but retained similar restrictions on freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly. A number of decrees passed since 2009 have been used to stifle government critics, prevent peaceful protests and disperse meetings.

  • In May, police revoked a permit to march for the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia on the day of the march.
  • On 11 July, police arrested and detained overnight a Fiji Labour Party official, Vyas Deo Sharma, and 14 male supporters for meeting at a private dwelling.

Former political leaders and human rights advocates were prosecuted in cases which appeared to be politically motivated, undermining freedom of expression.

  • In July, the Citizens’ Constitutional Forum was charged with contempt of court for an article published in its newsletter in April entitled “Fiji: Rule of Law Lost”.
  • In August, deposed Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase was sentenced to 12 months in prison on what were believed to be politically motivated charges of corruption.

Government remained critical of external institutions reviewing human rights in Fiji.

  • In September, an International Labour Organization delegation was expelled from Fiji.
Top of page

Torture and other ill-treatment

Police and security forces faced allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, including beating, threatening and intimidating people, particularly government critics.

  • In September, five men who escaped from prison were recaptured by security forces and were reportedly tortured. All five were hospitalized as a result of their injuries and one had his leg amputated.
Top of page

Justice system and lack of accountability

The rule of law and access to justice were undermined by an absence of judicial review of government decisions and security of tenure for judges. Impunity prevailed in cases of past human rights violations.

  • In July, Felix Anthony of the Fiji Trades Union Congress issued a formal complaint, after he was assaulted by officers in February 2011. Police refused to investigate his complaint against Prime Minister and Military Commander Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama.
  • In January, the UK Law Society Charity released a report claiming that there is “no rule of law” in Fiji and that “the independence of the judiciary cannot be relied upon”.
Top of page

Jump to a Country Report


The deepening crisis in Mali in 2012 reflected many of the region’s deep-rooted problems. Across Africa, people’s l ...


The widespread human rights violations of the past, and the failure to hold those responsible to account, have cast a ...

Asia Pacific

In countries across Asia-Pacific, the simple act of publicly expressing one’s opinion – whether on the street ...

Europe and Central Asia

A rare example of the democratic transition of power for the former Soviet Union took place in the par ...

Middle East and North Africa

The popular uprisings that swept across North Africa and the Middle East from late 2010 continued ...

Amnesty International on social networks

Country Reports

No reports available

Country Visits

No information on visits available