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
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.
Former political leaders and human rights advocates were prosecuted in cases which appeared to be politically motivated, undermining freedom of expression.
Government remained critical of external institutions reviewing human rights in Fiji.
Police and security forces faced allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, including beating, threatening and intimidating people, particularly government critics.
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.