14 Dec 2017

Ashwin Raj embroiled in battle over hate speech in Fiji

6:58 pm on 14 December 2017
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Photo: Fiji Parliament

The director of Fiji's Human Rights and Anti- Discrimination Commission, Ashwin Raj, has lodged a formal complaint over what he says are "hate speech" comments made on social media.

Mr Raj says Pastor Ezekiel Sharma needs to be thoroughly investigated because he is a candidate for the opposition SODELPA Party.

He says Pastor Sharma was instilling fear about Muslims and raising the spectre of Islamization in Fiji.

But the shadow minister for defence & national security, Mosese Bulitavu, says Mr Raj is pursuing a witch hunt of the opposition and its supporters.

He says Mr Raj is too quick to jump up when reports are filed by the government and its supporters but lacks the same zeal when reports on human rights abuses, racial profiling and discrimination are made by the opposition or its supporters.

Mr Bulitavu says Mr Raj's action comes while has failed to investigate an opposition complaint about what he says were the blasphemous utterances of a visiting Islamic cleric.

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