One prominent leftist who has endorsed the recent coup in Fiji is Shaista Shameem, director of the Fiji Human Rights Commission.
Fiji Human Rights Commission (FHRC) head Dr Shaista Shameem said New Zealand’s reactions and interventionist policy had fostered the deterioration of human rights.
The commission, set up under Fiji’s constitution, endorsed the coup in which Bainimarama dumped Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase.
“The Qarase Government was involved in massive violations of human rights in Fiji, constituting crimes against humanity, and made serious attempts to impose ethnic cleansing tactics in Fiji,” a 32-page report said.
“What the commander overthrew on December 2006 was not the legitimate and democratically elected Government of Fiji.”
Fiji’s Human Rights Commission, like its NZ counterpart is a leftist organisation, far more concerned with promoting socialism than genuine human rights.
Shaista Shameen, certainly has the credentials for the job.
Educated at the Suva based University of the South Pacific, in the ’70s, Shameem traces her political awakening to the shock of the “Watergate Scandal” of 1973.
Shameem later spent time at Canterbury University, where, in 1984, she was active in the “Students of Colour and Anti-Racism Collective”.
The Collective was linked to the “Canterbury University Progressives Club”. That group was led by the late Rob Steven, a Maoist leaning, Marxist-Leninist, political science lecturer who was almost certainly a member of the Workers Communist League.
Steven published an influential Marxist journal entitled, “Race, Gender, Class”.
In 1985 Shameem contributed an article to the second issue of RGC “When Can We Be Free? The Struggle of Indo-Fijian Women”.
From 1985 to 1989, Shameem was listed as an editorial advisor to RGC.
After Canterbury, Shameem became a lecturer at Waikato University.
After Sitiveni Rabuka overthrew the crypto-communist Fiji Labor Party government in 1987, the NZ left campaigned hard against the new regime.
The left’s main front in NZ, was the “Coalition for Democracy in Fiji”.
According to the Socialist Unity Party’s “Tribune” of September 23rd 1987, Shameem addressed an Auckland seminar on Fiji.
Co-speakers included, convicted spy and “peace” activist Owen Wilkes, SUP member and CDF supporter Don Farr, CDF chairman Vincent Naidu and Asenaca Uluiviti.
In October that year Vincent Naidu attended a Bureau meeting of the Soviet front, World Peace Council, in Auckland.
Asenaca Uluiviti, Now Second Secretary of the Fiji’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, Uluiviti was a long time chairwoman of CDF and in 1989, served on the National Council of Jim Anderton’s crypto-communist, New Labour Party.
In 1989 Shameem wrote an article “The Fiji Coups: Media Distortion”. for issue 315 of the then, Revolutionary Communist League, controlled “NZ Monthly Review
Shameem spent much of the ’90s in NZ at and ended up earning a PhD in Sociology at Waikato University and a Masters of Law from Auckland.
In 2002 she was appointed Director of the Fiji Human Rights Commission.
In 2004 United Nations Commission on Human Rights appointed Shameem as “Special Rapporteur on the use of mercenaries as a means of impeding the exercise of the right of people to self-determination.”
The Working Group was charged with;
(a) To elaborate and present concrete proposals on possible new standards, general guidelines or basic principles encouraging the further protection of human rights, in particular the right of peoples to self-determination, while facing current and emergent threats posed by mercenaries or mercenary-related activities;
(b) To seek opinions and contributions from Governments and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations on questions relating to its mandate;
(c) To monitor mercenaries and mercenary-related activities in all their forms and manifestations in different parts of the world;
(d) To study and identify emerging issues, manifestations and trends regarding mercenaries or mercenary-related activities and their impact on human rights, particularly on the right of peoples to self-determination;
(e) To monitor and study the effects of the activities of private companies offering military assistance, consultancy and security services on the international market on the enjoyment of human rights, particularly the right of peoples to self-determination, and to prepare draft international basic principles that encourage respect for human rights on the part of those companies in their activities.
Ironic, considering Shameem’s recent endorsement of a military coup apparently aimed at thwarting the nationalist agenda of indigenous Fijians.
In 2005 Shameem, was sent by the UN to review the justice process in Indonesia and East Timor. The Indonesians refused her a visa.