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Fiji Active At Human Rights Council

The 33rd session of the Human Rights Council has ended, with Fiji having taken an unprecedented level of participation in its debates, discussions and presentations. In addition to co-sponsoring five
04 Oct 2016 11:00
Fiji Active At Human  Rights Council
Panel Discussion on Police Procedure in Fiji post UNCAT (from left to right) Shazeerah Zawawi (APT) Deputy Police Commissioner Isikeli Ligairi, Chief Justice Anthony Gates, Permanent Representative of Fiji to the UNOG, Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan, Director of Public Prosecutions Christopher Pryde and Executive Director Legal Aid Shahin Ali. Photo: DEPTFO News

The 33rd session of the Human Rights Council has ended, with Fiji having taken an unprecedented level of participation in its debates, discussions and presentations.

In addition to co-sponsoring five Resolutions including one on strengthening National  Human Rights Institutions, Fiji co-hosted a side event at the Council with the Association for the Prevention of Torture.

The side event was a panel discussion on police procedures in Fiji, and steps taken to ensure the rights of persons in custody.

One such right is the right to counsel. The panel discussion heard from the Deputy Commissioner of the Fiji Police Force Isikeli Ligairi and the executive director of the Legal Aid Commission  Shahin Ali, that a pilot project called the First Hour Procedure, funded by the EU/UNDP Access to Justice Project in Fiji, would commence in November.

The project will see the provision of counsel to every suspect at the Police station, within one hour of arrest, with a protocol guiding the conduct of both Police and lawyers in relation to the implementation of this right. Also to be launched in November, and also supported by the Access to Justice project, is a pilot video recording of Police statements project.

The project aims at greater transparency and professionalism in the obtaining of Police statements.

A Police team led by the Director of Public Prosecutions,  Christopher Pryde and the Deputy Commissioner Ligairi have attended training in the United Kingdom on video recording of statements, supported by the British High Commission in Suva.

The Fijian delegation at the Council, led by Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan, delivered statements including on the right to development, the integration of a gender perspective in the work of the Council, the rights of Indigenous people and Indigenous  Women  specifically, and the need for a PSIDS member on the Council.

Fiji Day celebrations were also held early in Geneva to coincide with the number of Fijian delegates attending the Council this Session.

Source: DEPTFO News

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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