NEWS

Raj Lodges Complaint Against SODELPA Candidate Allegedly ‘Inciting Communal Antagonism

A Police complaint has been lodged against a SODELPA candidate for the 2018 General Election, Ezekiel Sharma on allegations of inciting communal antagonism. Director of Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission
13 Dec 2017 12:13
Raj Lodges Complaint Against SODELPA Candidate Allegedly ‘Inciting Communal Antagonism
Ashwin Raj

A Police complaint has been lodged against a SODELPA candidate for the 2018 General Election, Ezekiel Sharma on allegations of inciting communal antagonism.

Director of Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission Ashwin Raj has lodged the complaint with Fiji Police Force’s Criminal Investigations Department.

In his complaint, Mr Raj is alleging that Mr Sharma’s comments on a post on social media was inciting communal antagonism.

Questions have been sent to Mr Sharma and also to the General Secretary of SODELPA Adi Litia Qionibaravi on the matter.

When contacted yesterday, Adi Litia acknowledged receiving the email and confirmed that she will respond.

At around 8pm, Adi Litia responded: “I am not aware of this complaint and cannot make a comment. Is there a statement from the Director FHRADC or the Police that you are reporting on? Please share the statement to me.”

No further response was received either from her or Mr Sharma.

In his complaint, Mr Raj said: “I request that this matter be urgently investigated given its potential to promote feelings of ill will between religious groups and ethnic communities in Fiji. The matter warrants urgent attention for two reasons.

“First, these comments must be read in the context of a surge in hate speeches in the social media based on religion and race, which are both prohibited grounds of discrimination given Fiji’s history and our prevailing political context given that Fiji is on the cusp of a General Election.

“Second, consideration must also be given to the status of Ezekiel Sharma and his ability to influence the public in his capacity not only as a candidate for General Election next year under SODELPA, but also in his capacity as a religious leader.”

Mr Sharma is believed to be a Pastor. His Facebook account is filled with unsubstantiated claims against Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and the Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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