14 Aug 2020

Former boxer takes American Samoa govt to court over Covid restrictions

4:01 pm on 14 August 2020

A former national representative boxer has filed a lawsuit against the American Samoa government for restricting his right to freedom of religion.

High Court in Fagatogo, American Samoa

High Court in Fagatogo, American Samoa. Photo: noaa

Siaosi Tanoa filed the complaint in the High Court seeking $US1 million in compensation due to the government's Covid-19 restrictions.

Mr Tanoa's lawsuit is the third one pending in court challenging provisions of the governor's declarations.

According to the complaint, Tanoa wished to attend an early morning prayer-meeting at his church but the governor's declarations only allowed public gatherings between 5am and 9pm daily.

He said the meeting had been a routine church event since 2017.

He argued that the restrictions were made despite there being no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the territory.

The other two pending lawsuits are seeking $US4 million each in punitive damages.