19 Jul 2012

Fiji's AG says no permits needed for meetings

5:50 am on 19 July 2012

Fiji's attorney general says there will be no permit required to conduct any meeting provided the meeting is not on a public road, public parks, playground and sporting arena.

Fiji Live says Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum revealed this yesterday while announcing the new laws pertaining to the Constitutional Commission and the Constituent Assembly.

He says the government is suspending section 8 of the Public Order Amendment Decree 2012 until the assembly submits the constitution draft to the President of Fiji.

Section 8 of the Decree requires for anyone to apply for a permit if conduct public meetings.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum says this will allow free dialogue for the constitution consultation.

The government will only interfere on the meeting if it is a threat to public security and using the opportunity to disturb peace.

He says there will be no more need to apply to the Commissioner of Police for permit.

The new law which went into effect yesterday includes the function, procedure and composition of the constituent assembly.

Last week, a group of about 14 Labour Party supporters were kept in police custody overnight for meeting in a private home without obtaining a permit.

And police at the time had warned that if three or more people meet to discuss politics, a permit is required.