Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pacific Forum silent on Fijian torture

The Pacific Islands Forum is our regional body, covering the Pacific islands, Papua New Guinea, Australia, and New Zealand. Among its regional goals is the promotion of human rights, with the objective of

a Pacific region that is respected for the quality of its governance... the full observance of democratic values, and for its defence and promotion of human rights.
Despite this, the forum is staying silent on Fijian torture. Which invites the question: what bloody good are they? What is the point of a regional organisation which won't do its job, and stays silent in the face of gross human rights abuses?

We have a torture state in our midst. It is the Pacific Forum's job to show leadership and condemn it, and work to put an end to those abuses. If it won't - if it will look the other way on torture because its not "the Pacific way" to criticise your neighbours - then I think we should be looking at getting a new regional body which better reflects our values.