MEDIA ALERT: Troubling Developments
The NGO Coalition for Human Rights is deeply troubled with the arrests of prominent academics, trade unionists and political party representatives today. The recent arrests were related to the Pacific Dialogue event that was held on Monday 5th September. In another incident, police officers also shut down of Dialogue Fiji event, which was to take place within the same week.
It’s also understood that the police searched the homes and offices of Professor Biman Prasad, Attar Singh, Tupeni Baba, Jone Dakuvula and Sitiveni Rabuka.
“Civil Society in general has not applied for permits to convene with other members of the public since the 2012 announcement by the Attorney General. The timing of these arrests is a concern and the further restrictions placed on meetings and events only create an atmosphere of intimidation and fear. The freedom of assembly, freedom of association as well as free of speech are fundamental cornerstones of democracy and rule of law,” said the interim NGOCHR Chair, Michelle Reddy.
The NGOCHR calls on the Fiji Human Rights and Anti Discrimination Commission to thoroughly investigate these recent arrests.