16 Dec 2006

Samoa churches express concern over proposed new police powers

9:33 am on 16 December 2006

Samoa's National Council of Churches or NCC has decided to oppose parts of the Police Powers Bill which would allow overseas military intervention and police to be armed if required.

The decision was made at yesterday's NCC meeting attended by members of the council who are church ministers from various denominations.

A member of the council who did not want to be named says it was a unanimous decision based on advice from the NCC lawyer who is also a church minister.

The member says the council will be making a request to the prime minister to delay the passing of the bill until the public is aware of all the reasons behind the legislation and its consequences.

Meanwhile Samoa's umbrella for non-governmental organisations or SUNGO met the prime minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, to raise its concerns about the proposed legislation.

Parliament will meet next Monday when the bill is expected to be endorsed.