Fiji police order march ban

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 18:27 07/03/2013

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Just two days after a graphic video of prisoners being severely beaten, Fiji police have ordered a ban on a street march planned for the capital, Suva tomorrow.

The Fiji Women's Crisis Centre (FWCC) was holding a "Reclaim the Night" march in the city tomorrow to mark International Women's Day.

"We received a call early this afternoon from the police informing us that our permit that we received on 19 February had been withdrawn due to security reasons," centre coordinator Shamima Ali says.

"The march is about claiming spaces for women and girls in particular around the issue of sexual assault and the violation of their rights, so where is the threat?"

She said in previous years families had joined the march.

The FWCC says that while the police are concerned about the security situation surrounding the march, they should give some credit to the centre.

"We have been doing these activities for nearly 30 years and we have done it in all different circumstances, including during times of instability. We understand the conditions of our permit and unlike other organisations and institutions we recognise the rule of law," said Ali.

Earlier this week a nine minute long video was revealed showing an escaped prisoner being severely beaten and a man who had harboured him also abused.

The Fiji Government has still said nothing of the abuse while the Fiji Police say they are investigating.

Social media in Fiji has already identified the key players in the abuse; most of them are police officers with a special Suva based unit and there is also a military officer.

Several of the people identified in the video have played for Fiji in international rugby sevens and league.

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- Fairfax Media

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