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Fiji: Methodists

Volume 497: debated on Monday 12 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on allegations of persecution of members of the Methodist Church in Fiji; and if he will make a statement. (292162)

I remain extremely concerned over the human rights situation in Fiji, particularly since the abrogation of the constitution in April this year. Through our high commission in Suva, among other sources, we continue to watch events closely. These include the cancellation of the Methodist Church annual meeting in July and the arrest and detention of church leaders.

We have made our concerns at these and other developments clear to the military regime in Fiji, and have drawn them to the attention of international partners, including the EU. Fiji was suspended from the Commonwealth on 1 September following meetings of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, of which the UK is a member. The UK most recently raised its concerns on human rights in Fiji in a statement to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in September.