10 Feb 2017

Changes to Fiji's Public Order Act 'positive'

1:12 pm on 10 February 2017

Amnesty International says changes to Fiji's Public Order Act to loosen restrictions on public meetings is a step in the right direction.

no caption

Photo: Fiji Parliament

Fiji's Parliament yesterday passed the Public Order Amendment Bill, allowing political groups more freedom to hold meetings without a police permit.

Meeting and march organisers will now only need to apply for a permit if they're planning to use a public park or road.

Amnesty's Pacific Researcher Kate Schuetze said while Amnesty would like to see more changes, the amendment is a good start.

"It did look at lifting some of the permit restrictions so that takes away this fear I guess from civil society and other actors that if they hold a meeting they're at risk of arrest - that's a really positive move."

She said it's important Fiji citizens know their rights under the amended law.