Former Prime Minister and Fiji Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has denounced actions of Police officers in barring political parties from participating in a march today which was organised to raise concern on Japan’s decision to dump nuclear wastewater into the Pacific ocean.
Chaudhry in a statement said this is not the restricted freedom our people voted for when they elected the Coalition Government into office.
“It was disgusting to see the Police stopping Fiji First leader Voreqe Bainimarama and four of his Party members from participating in today’s rally.”
“Acting Police Commissioner Juki Fong Chew said the permit did not include participation of political parties.”
“On whose instructions was this condition stipulated?” Chaudhry asked.
He said it is certainly is a denial of the right to freedom of assembly, association as well as expression.
Chaudhry said even if the permit did say so, and we ask why, there should have been no reason to bar politicians from marching in their personal capacity. What is the Government afraid of?
“Such actions make us wonder whether Fiji has indeed embraced true democracy under the current government, or were all those elections and post election promises to fully restore the rights and freedoms of our people simply hollow rhetoric? he asked.