19 Sep 2016

NGOs tread carefully in Fiji after detentions

3:16 pm on 19 September 2016

Community groups in Fiji are said to be treading carefully following the detention of six men involved in a gathering to discuss the constitution two weeks ago.

Opposition politicians, a trade unionist and the chairman of the group that organised the meeting Jone Dakuvula are waiting to hear if they will be charged under Fiji's public order laws, one week after police questioning and spending a night in the cells.

Mr Dakuvula said the meeting was held legally, without the need to apply for a permit similar to the nine meetings on various subjects it had held freely in the past year.

He said other Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) wanted to discuss the implications of the police questioning, but they were worried about getting together.

"The NGOs that I've spoken to, they are more cautious now and worried. They're asking 'do we now have to apply for permits for every meeting and all other organisations as well?''.

"I heard of a church leader asking, he's going to be addressing a big meeting, and whether that meeting needs a permit."