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Victims won’t report because they won’t be heard: Nabulivou

  A political adviser for a non-governmental organisation Noelene Nabulivou said yesterday the gay friends who were allegedly assaulted on Sunday morning in Valelevu did not feel safe to report the
08 Feb 2017 13:54
Victims won’t report because  they won’t be heard: Nabulivou

 

A political adviser for a non-governmental organisation Noelene Nabulivou said yesterday the gay friends who were allegedly assaulted on Sunday morning in Valelevu did not feel safe to report the matter to the police.

“Why do you think that is; that’s because no one will report the incident if they think that they will go to Police station and not be heard,” Ms Nabulivou said.

In responding to Tuesday’s Fiji Sun front page Ms Nabulivou from the Diverse Voices and Action for Equality (DIVA) said the two who were allegedly assaulted would need some assurance from the police.

“So we need reassurances from police system that they will be heard and listened to and they would not be further targeted, that they would not be given a lecture for their sexual orientation and gender identity, hear them and make sure same rules applied no matter who walks in the police station,” she said.

In response Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said: “We have avenues that have been publically made known.

“If people are not happy with the conduct of our police officers, they are even free to lodge a complaint against our officers.

“If they feel if that is the case, they can raise this through channels.

“But, the best way for us to ensure that the justice is prevailed in this particular issue, that is why we would encourage them to come forward.”

Ms Nabulivou said: “For us the major question at the middle of this is if we have a Constitution that talks about equality before the law.

“If we have a very strong Constitution that’s specifically in the bill of rights talks about sexual orientation, gender identity and expression then Government is required under the Constitution to make sure that we don’t suffer.

“That means if people are assaulted in the streets then we would expect that the system of the state will protect us.

“As Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission has a role but so do the police. So do every other non-state actor in the country.”

Ms Nabulivou said just as there were regulations that women should not be assaulted no matter where they were; in the homes, streets, churches or so ever, so to as Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) people.

“From our work there are people who are impacted by all kinds of stigma, discriminations, violence mentally, sexually and physically all the time,” Ms Nabulivou said.

“And that’s for many reason as their gender as women, think about that if the statistics against women are so high in terms of violence, why do you think there will be any difference for LGBTQI people because what is about because people disrespect the rights of everyone in the country.”

Ms Nabulivou said they were doing a lot to address this issue

“Every day we need to strengthen the systems,” she said.

“When they walk into the Anti-Discrimination Commission, will they be heard, can they fill in a complaint form I think so now but, we need to see the same in every single case.”

Ms Nabulivou said people should show solidarity to LGBT people like they showed to any one. If you see anyone targeted on streets for any reason because of their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity or faith, no matter what it was, citizens should step in as citizens and make sure that they received the assistance they needed,” she said.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  shahani.mala@fijisun.com.fj

 

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