Fiji: Human Rights Day March Cancellation
9th December 2010
The World Human Rights Day march, organised by the NGO Coalition on Human Rights (NGOCHR) scheduled for 10th December 2010 (Friday) has been cancelled.
This is due to authorities revoking the permit last night after a phone call to NGOCHR Deputy Chair, Reverend Akuila Yabaki.
A letter was received this afternoon from the Fiji Police Force informing us that the permit had been revoked.
The permit for the march was granted on 19th November by the Commissioner Central Division.
The permit was granted subject to conditions which included “the public gathering/ procession shall not include any distribution and display of banners, pamphlets, brochures and handouts that might depict themes or messages, which are politically motivated”.
Yabaki says, “This is a sad day as the march was to allow us to celebrate Human Rights Day in a peaceful manner and that the withdrawing of the permit is a blow to all involved especially on the eve of the march, after weeks of organizing and preparations”.
He says, “It’s a global celebration focusing on Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which states that - everyone has a right to be free from discrimination - and nobody should be discriminated against because of their race, colour, sex, language, political or other opinion.”
“The theme for this year’s human rights day is ‘Defending Against Discrimination’ and it encourages people to speak out against discrimination. We wanted to encourage people to develop values of respect, tolerance and understanding,”
The march was to be from the Flea Market to the Civic Centre where speeches and skits on the theme were to take place.