Harassment of trade union officials continue

 

“According to what I gathered during the interview, we were questioned about our decision to be part of the Fiji Trades Union Congress (FTUC) protest march that is scheduled later this week,” Mr Manumanunitoga claimed”.

 Read full article here:  Police Question FTA Members-The Fiji Times

A report on FijiVillage states that :

FTA General Secretary, Paula Namanumanunitoga says some other executives are also expected to be questioned as there were 11 people on a list given by Police.

Namanumanunitoga who was one of those questioned says he was given a list of questions about their Annual General Meeting and it included whether FTUC National Secretary, Felix Anthony made a presentation at the AGM.

 

Application made to Police – ANTHONY

The FTUC made a application on Wednesday 24th  April after  the Executive Board met to discuss the issue of the national protest for May 3rd.  At the meeting of its Suva affiliates,  it was decided that a march also take place on the 4th of May.

FTUC Board,  in responding to the call by its affiliates then met and agreed that a march be held and an application for the permit was made that same afternoon. Click here FTUC permit application 4th May to see copy of the application   sent to the contacts at the Police Department that we usually liase with regarding such application.

One of the requirements of the permit, as informed by the DCP Southern office is that we must  submit the following:

  1. approval from Fiji Roads Authority
  2. approval from the park or hall used for the rally

The Fiji Roads Authority has acknowledged receipt of our application and we expect an approval to be issued early next week.   see here acknowledgement from FRA

The other requirements that are required include:

  1.  paid advertisement in the Fiji Sun paid by the applicant (FTUC) advising of the road closure.

A few calls were made and we obtained the name and contact of the DCP West and the application has been forwarded to him as well.

A copy sent to the email address  of the Police Spokesperson, Ana Naisoro, found on the Fiji Police website returned with a delivery failure message. The website lacks addresses and contacts of any police personnel.

The last 2 applications that we made weeks in advance for two hour protests standing on the footpath in a single file was refused by the Police at the eleventh hour.  Despite the refusal FTUC Leaders staged the protests at the FTUC HQ in Suva.

The public need to know the facts, including information on the  (ever-changing) requirements of applications and why police respond, if at all, only a few hours prior to the date of the protest irrespective of how many weeks in advance an application was made.  if the permits are to be denied why is the information relayed to us on the evening prior to the date of the schedule protest or march. We would like to decipher that the system if designed to denial rather than grant the permits for the free exercise of our right to assembly.