23 Nov 2002

Fiji government accused of suppressing citizens' rights to protest

9:34 am on 23 November 2002

The Fiji government has been accused of suppressing the rights of its citizens after refusing to issue permits for protest marches planned for today.

The marches were organised by the Citizens Constitutional Forum, trade unions and the National Farmers Union to protest a 25 per cent increase in the Value Added Tax ffrom 10 per cent to 12 and a half per cent.

The organisers are now planning to hold rallies instead to protest the increase.

A spokesman for the CCF says no one in authority will say why the permits were denied even though a meeting of the National Security Council was held yesterday.

The police have warned that anyone trying to march will be dealt with.