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35+ years of activism & feminism in Fiji

Published

03 April 2023

Author

Fiji Women's Rights Movement

Themes

NGOCHR PR -End Human Rights Violations Now!

End Human Rights Violations Now! 

10/02/2023

The NGO Coalition on Human Rights (NGOCHR) is once again deeply disturbed by recent arbitrary detentions and prolonged ‘interviews’ of law-abiding citizens for their social media posts. Such actions are unreasonable, unjustified and inexcusable.

In a properly functioning democracy, the State should never shy away from upholding fundamental human rights, including the right to expression. A Police state, dictating the daily lives of individual citizens will only mean regressive lived realities for countless human rights defenders. Freedom of expression and speech should be guarded with utmost care to preserve the fragile democracy that Fiji is now at the helm of.  

The NGOCHR implores the State not to disregard basic human rights principles. It must adhere to international standards by upholding freedoms as enshrined the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).  The State has made international commitments to safeguarding freedom of expression. There must be steps taken to ensure that enforcers of the law are not suppressing concerned citizens, the media, civil society organisations and activists, and human rights defenders who speak up. It is crucial that we put into practice the international commitments which we have pledged.

The NGOCHR believes that in a functioning democracy, the role of citizens in voicing concerns and raising issues which affect them need to be cultivated rather than curtailed. It is important that different perspectives and voices are heard during this important transition in Fiji’s democracy.

The Fiji Constitution also guarantees basic human rights, which everyone is bound by including the Police. The Police must do better. 

We call on the State to ensure that adequate training is provided to service providers such as the Police so that human rights are not infringed in their day-to-day work.  All acts of harassment of citizens including taking away their civil liberties, must end now. Fiji must do better.  

Ends..