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Australian diplomats delay

Australia's plan to fully restore diplomatic ties with Fiji appears to be on shaky ground, with Frank Bainimarama's military regime so far failing to let the Gillard government's choice for high commissioner into the country.
News of the diplomatic impasse has emerged the same day as a shocking new video allegedly depicting Fijian authorities beating and torturing prisoners nuskin.

Australia and New Zealand agreed with Fiji in July last year to exchange high commissioners, ending a three-year hiatus and signalling a significant thaw in relations that have been frosty since Commodore Bainimarama seized power in a 2006 coup.

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr subsequently appointed career diplomat Margaret Twomey to the role and hoped she would begin last month. But the process appears to have stalled, with Fiji has so far failing to approve Ms Twomey's visa.

"We remain of the view she's the best person and that she should be made the Australian High Commissioner to Fiji," a spokesman for Senator Carr told AAP on Tuesday.

Fiji has not even nominated anyone to fill its high commission in Canberra, he said.

"Certainly, there seems to be no movement on this," Senator Carr's spokesman said.

"It now appears that that is suspended at their end."

Fiji kicked out Australia's last high commissioner and New Zealand's acting head of mission in 2009.

Meanwhile, the nine minute video posted online shows two men screaming on the ground as they are repeatedly struck with batons nu skin hk.

Senator Carr's spokesman described the the video as enormously concerning.

"It needs an investigation," he said.

Amnesty International says while the video's authenticity is yet to be verified it appears consistent with reports of Fijian military brutality against prisoners nuskin group.

"The Fijian authorities must treat this shocking footage with the utmost seriousness and immediately initiate an independent investigation," Amnesty spokesman Andrew Beswick said.
publié le mardi 12 mars à 10:49

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