July 31, 2012

‘Police can stop meetings’

July 27, 2012 | Filed under: Fiji News | Posted by: newsroom

The Fiji Police Force still has powers to stop meetings says the Commissioner of Police, Brigadier-General Ioane Naivalurua.

Brigadier-General Naivalurua clarified this in response to the suspension of Section 8 of the Public Order Act by the Fiji Constitutional Process (Constitution Commission) Decree (“Decree”).

“The Fiji Police Force continues to have the authority under section 9 of the Public Order Act to prohibit or to disperse any meetings if it is necessary for the securing of public safety or the maintenance of public order,” Brigadier-General Naivalurua said.

“This is particularly relevant to those persons and groups that have in the past either been refused a permit, or who have breached the conditions of any permit, or who have on any previous occasion prejudiced peace, public safety and public order or engaged in racial or religious vilification.”

He said a person or group seeking to hold meetings on public roads, public parks and sporting arena, as well those seeking to hold public processions and marches, would still be required to obtain a permit.

In this regard, the Police Commissioner said police reminds  all persons and groups that in holding meetings, no one is permitted to engage in any act that constitutes an offence under the Public Order Act. These include the offence of:
- Disturbance in a public place;
- Malicious acts;
- Incitement to violence;
- Disobedience of the law;
- Racial/ethnic or religious vilification; and
- Undermining or sabotaging the economy or the financial integrity of Fiji.

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