9 Jan 2012

Fiji publishes tightened new Public Order Act

8:18 pm on 9 January 2012

The Fiji interim government has published its revised Public Order Act, granting itself extended and vast powers to maintain security.

The act came in force last Friday - a day before the Public Emergency Regulations were lifted, Radio New Zealand International reports.

It stipulates that no one can legally challenge actions taken by the Prime Minister or senior police officers under the act.

The Public Order Act gives police the power to use force - including arms - to break up gatherings considered to be a threat to public safety, while banning criminal and civil proceedings for any harm or loss caused by the use of such force.

The act also allows for closer controls on anyone suspected of breaking the law and detailed rules for meetings, parades and processions.

Police are allowed to ban any private gathering attended by a person who has been found in breach of any conditions imposed on previous meetings.