Pacific Media Watch

6 September 2013

FIJI: Fourteen campaigners arrested after silent anti-constitution protest

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A Fiji human rights rally in Belgium. Image:

SUVA (Fiji Women's Rights Movement / Pacific Media Watch): Fourteen Fijians were arrested in Suva today for a silent protest outside the President’s official residence and were later released.

The group was protesting against today’s signing into force of the Fiji constitution, which has been controversially pushed through by the government despite a lack of transparency and lack of public participation.

At 1:16 pm, the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM) reported that the protesters had been released.

Young women, lesbian and gay activists, former trade unionists, community leaders - as well as mothers and grandmothers - were among the arrested protesters.

Among the arrested were 6 staff members, and deputy board chair of the FWRM.

“These Fiji citizens were arrested by police simply for exercising their human rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression,” said executive director  Virisila Buadromo.

“We are calling on the international community to send messages of solidarity to the Fijian protesters and bring attention our cause – don’t accept this unjust constitution.”

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