Permanent Mission of Fiji to Geneva
[Fiji Mission to the United Nations in Geneva]
Thank you Mr. President.
Fiji commends the efforts of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions and takes note of its report.
Consistent with the views of the Working Group, Fiji is also mindful of the link between arbitrary detentions and instances of torture. Fiji has taken steps to ensure that authorities which detain persons, do so in a manner that is prescribed by law and safeguards against human rights violations.
With the assistance of Fiji’s Legal Aid Commission, we have taken a further step in rolling out the First Hour Procedure which guarantees every detained person access to competent independent legal advice on the nature of detention, the reasons for detention, their rights while detained and the avenues available should these rights be violated.
This is an important step not only in safeguarding against arbitrary detentions but also in guaranteeing that detained persons are not subjected to any form of torture or other inhumane or degrading treatment. It further compels authorities to respect the human rights of detained persons by holding them accountable to the fundamental principle that all persons are equal and must be afforded their dignity regardless of circumstances.
On this note, on 14 March 2016, Fiji acceded to the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. We recognise the values of the Convention and have adopted them as our own.
All persons are entitled to their inherent dignity free from torture or other inhumane or degrading treatment regardless of circumstances and this must be respected especially in their most vulnerable circumstances.
I thank you Mr President.