3 May 2019

Fiji union leader released; members charged with unlawful assembly bailed

6:00 pm on 3 May 2019

Fiji union leader Felix Anthony has been released from police custody this afternoon in the capital Suva.

Felix Anthony is greeted by media and his supporters upon his release.

Felix Anthony is greeted by media and his supporters upon his release. Photo: Fiji Trades Union Congress

Mr Anthony, who was detained on Wednesday, is the national secretary of the Fiji Trades Union Congress and general secretary of the National Union of Workers (NUW).

Also today, 28 former workers of the Water Authority of Fiji appeared in the Lautoka Magistrates Court charged with unlawful assembly.

They were granted bail under strict conditions, including a 6pm to 6am curfew, and are required to report to the Lautoka Police Station between 8am and 6pm every day.

The 28 were ordered to surrender their passports, and to each provide a surety in the form of a cash bail bond of $FJD100.

The group will reappear in court on 24 May for a plea hearing.

They are members of the NUW who were arrested on Tuesday outside the authority's depot in Lautoka.

Assistant Police Commissioner Bitukula Waqanui told local media "the group unlawfully gathered on a piece of land in Lautoka on Tuesday and refused to disperse when directed to by police".

The lawyer, Mark Anthony, who is the son of Felix Anthony, said he was happy his father had been released.

"We'll just have to wait and see the reaction of the union," he said.

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