The International Parliamentary Union will be examining the Amnesty Bill for human rights violations and may discuss it during a regional seminar in Burundi.
This follows submissions by Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry in August to the peak international Parliamentary body based in Geneva informing it of the controversial amnesty provisions of the Reconciliation and Unity Bill which government is adamant in bulldozing through parliament despite overwhelmingly strong objections to it.
Chaudhry said IPU’s response was indicative of the fact that its international campaign against the Bill as paying dividends.
IPU secretary general Anders Johnsson wrote back seeking particulars on the May 2000 coup and hostage crisis with regard to violation of human rights of the MPs concerned so that it could refer the issue to the IPU’s committee on the human rights of Parliamentarians.
“As part of such an examination, the committee would also have a close look at the Promotion of Reconciliation, Tolerance and Unity Bill, as its adoption would compromise the efforts made to hold the culprits to account,” Johnsson said.
He also emphasised IPU’s commitment to fostering reconciliation through a strengthening of the parliamentary process. Towards this end the IPU together with the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) is holding a regional seminar in Bujumbura in Burunda. Fiji will be invited to attend the conference.
Labour has mounted a vigorous international campaign and lobby against the Bill which if enacted will pardon terrorists involved in the May 2000 coup under the guise of national reconciliation.