22 Jun 2012

Fresh Fiji call for end to Public Order Amendment Decree

12:39 pm on 22 June 2012

The Fiji NGO, Coalition on Human Rights is calling on the interim government to remove the Public Order Amendment Decree, saying it impedes open discussions on the proposed democratic reforms.

The Decree replaced the public emergency regulations which the regime imposed in 2009 when it abolished the constitution.

The Chair of the Coalition, Shamima Ali, says while the organisation commends the regime for issuing a one-off permit to NGOs taking part in civic education programmes and workshops, people are still in a state of fear of openly participating.

"We see it as a form of control you know. So while things have eased, we only need one permit which is conducting ten workshops, we don't need need to do ten permits, just the one, still it would be good if we were to go into a democracy that the public, the people, the citizens of our country don't need a permit to be able to debate and so on, issues of importance to them."

Shamima Ali says she would rather see the former public emergency order act still in place, as there was no need for a permit to hold public meetings nor was there police surveillance.