9 Mar 2013

Pacific media group condemns Fiji ban on march against gender violence

6:41 am on 9 March 2013

A pacific media watchdog has condemned the Fiji government's last-minute decision to ban Friday's annual Reclaim the Night march.

Although the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre, which organises the event to mark International Women's Day, received a permit in February, police revoked it on the eve of the march on the basis of threats to public security.

The Pacific Freedom Forum's co-chairperson Titi Gabi says in a country where a host of decrees are gagging freedom of expression and association, the decision to ban the event says much of the regime stance on the issue.

She says the Reclaim the Night march is one of the outstanding initiatives allowing men and families to take action against sexual and all forms of violence.

The forum urges the regime to allow all of Fiji's people to be able to voice their concerns on the things that matter and to remove the range of decrees now limiting people's freedom to do so.