Why Shaista Shameem's appointment must be rescinded by Massey University
We, the people of Fiji, in Fiji and elsewhere, hereby implore the Vice Chancellor of Massey University, Steve Maharey, to rescind the appointment of Dr Shaista Shameem, as Director Migrant Services, for the following reasons:
1. She, as Director Fiji Human Rights Commission, prepared a paper in January 2007, wherein she justified the 2006 military coup and said the actions of President Iloilo in dismissing the Qarase government was lawful - which was subsequently held to be unlawful by the Fiji Court of Appeal in April 2009;
2. She as DHRC, made application and joined the Qarase v Banimarama court proceedings to argue that the coup was lawful and that there was a threat of foreign intervention and that laws relating to traditional fishing grounds, as proposed by SDL, inParliamentwere a threat to human rights;
2. She, as DHRC, did not properly discharge her duties, in failing to strongly condemn and ordering proper investigations into the deaths of Sakiusa Rabaka and Nimilote Verebasaga and of the assault, torture and ill treatment of children and youths such as Pita Waqavonovono; women such as Laisa Digitaki and Virisila Buadromo and men such as Attar Singh and Richard Naidu;by the military; and
3. She fought opposition from the FHR Commissioner Shamima Ali, to be held to account in the performance of her duties.
We believe that the appointment of Dr Shameem to such an important position at Massey University would suggest to NZ citizens and others that it is normal for New Zealand tertiary institutes to employ coup sympathisers.
We note Dr Steve Maharey to be a former Labour Party stalwart and a former distinguished Massey University academic, who was/is well aware of the impact of the 3 coups in Fiji and that he ought to exercise prudence, good judgment and proper conscience and terminate the appointment of Dr Shameem so as to shield Massey University from unwarranted criticism.
Many former and current Fiji students at Massey University would also applaud Dr Maharey for his courage if he were to act to rescind the appointment of Dr Shameem.