13 Dec 2006

Samoa NGOs oppose new powers for police

6:56 am on 13 December 2006

Samoa's umbrella of non governmental organizations or SUNGO is calling on the council of churches to support their opposition to the new Police Powers Bill which will allow police to be armed when it' s needed.

The call comes ahead of the council of churches last monthly meeting of the year to be held on Thursday where the issue is top of the agenda.

The Chairman of the council, the Reverend Oka Fauolo, says there are concerns about the bill but representatives from various denominations will discuss the issue and formalize a decision after the meeting.

But a council member says the majority of local Christian churches have rejected all parts of the bill relating to the carrying of guns by police and allowing overseas armed forces to enter the country.

The proposed legislation will also provide powers for the police commissioner to import or cause to import explosives, ammunitions, and weapons.

The bill will go back to parliament next Monday for its third reading.