NEWS

Chaudhry Treated Well: Human Rights Director

  Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry was treated well while in Police custody, says Ashwin Raj. The director of the Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission said: “Mr Chaudhry
13 Sep 2016 11:37
Chaudhry Treated Well: Human Rights Director
Fiji Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry with Pita Waqavonovono at the Totogo police station yesterday.Photo:Vilimoni Vaganalau.

 

Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry was treated well while in Police custody, says Ashwin Raj.

The director of the Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission said: “Mr Chaudhry intimated to me that the Police treated him with courtesy, that he was fed, had no urgent medical issues, was not coerced into making any statements and had access to his legal counsel.”

Mr Chaudhry was released yesterday after being kept overnight at the Totogo Police Station in Suva.

He was the last of six men released after they were arrested and questioned over an alleged breach of the Public Order Act.

Earlier released were SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka, SODELPA official Tupeni Baba, National Federation Party leader Biman Prasad, Fiji Islands Council of Trades Union general secretary Attar Singh and Pacific Dialogue executive Jone Dakuvula.

They were attending a panel discussion on sugar organised by Pacific Dialogue when one of them commented that Police and military intelligence were keeping a tab on their movement.

Another person responded: “Blow them.”

Mr Raj said: “I visited Mr Chaudhry this morning at the Central police Station. He confirmed that he turned up to the Central Police Station on his own volition and that he was kept at the Raiwaqa Police Station.

“I explained to him his constitutional rights as an arrested or detained person pursuant to section 13 of the Fijian Constitution which includes his right to be informed promptly of the reason for their arrest, their right to be able to communicate with their lawyers, to not be compelled to make any confession and admission that could be used in evidence against them, to be able to communicate with their family and that the conditions of their detention is consistent with human dignity.

“Mr Chaudhry has been released and I want to thank the Police and the Commissioner for being transparent and not obstructing the work of the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission and for ensuring that these constitutional rights as it pertains to arrested and detained persons was observed at all times.

“There is a larger discussion that Fiji needs to have about freedom of expression and assembly and justifiable limitations set out in our Constitution and proportionality consistent with human rights norms, democratic principles and values.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 

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