7 Feb 2017

Bill proposes changes to Fiji's public order laws

3:42 pm on 7 February 2017

The Fiji government has proposed changes to the country's controversial public order laws.

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Photo: Fiji Parliament

Under a bill, due to be debated in parliament this week, meeting and march organisers will only need to apply for a permit if they're planned for a public park or road.

At present a permit is also required for meetings held in places like community halls and any open area.

The Public Order Amendment Bill still allows the police to stop a meeting or disperse a procession if it's in the interest of law and order.

The bill also gives authorities discretion to refuse a permit in certain circumstances.

Fiji's Public Order Act was controversially amended in 2012 under the then military-led government.

Opposition figures have since criticised the changes and implementation of the law saying people have been too fearful to attend meetings.

Last year the leader of the National Federation Party Biman Prasad said the rules around meetings had become even more draconian and hampered his party.

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