1 Oct 2013

Solomons civil society groups say reform of act PM's attempt to gag them

5:27 am on 1 October 2013

Solomon Islands civil society groups are accusing the government of trying to stop them from speaking out against it.

A senior government official says certain groups will be given 30 days notice of their deregistration under the Charitable Trusts Act because of the political nature of their activities, including petitioning the prime minister to resign.

He says the act does not permit such activities and the groups should instead register as political parties.

But the Joint Civil Society Group's interim chairperson, Barnabas Henson, says they will not be doing that.

"I think we are compliant with the act in terms of educating people, because this country has never seen the level of corruption that is actually going on in government before. The prime minister is trying to gag us, actually, and deter the process with the People's Petition."

Barnabas Henson says civil society groups are giving the silent majority a voice.