NEWS

Social Media Posting of 165 Names and Residential Addresses by a SODELPA aide Condemned

The release of the names and residential addresses of 165 Fijians on Facebook has been condemned. Director of Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission Ashwin Raj said this was a “serious
02 Oct 2018 11:21
Social Media Posting of 165 Names and Residential Addresses by a SODELPA aide Condemned
Jale Baba

The release of the names and residential addresses of 165 Fijians on Facebook has been condemned.

Director of Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission Ashwin Raj said this was a “serious breach of the right to privacy and confidentiality of personal information.”

SODELPA aide, Jale Baba, who posted the names, defended his action.

However, Mr Raj said: “By virtue of being a political party does not exempt political parties or their functionaries from observing this fundamental right guaranteed under section 24(1)(a) of the Fijian Constitution, particularly in the absence of informed consent of the individuals whose personal details have been disclosed.

“I call on relevant authorities to thoroughly investigate this matter and ensure the restitution of the right to confidentiality of personal information”.

On Sunday, Mr Baba posted up the names and addresses and asked those he named to check their nearest polling stations since all of them are registered to vote at Vatuwaqa Primary School, Suva.

He had tagged 53 people and the post was shared more than a dozen times, reaching thousands of people – in Fiji and outside.

He confirmed yesterday that he had not sought permission from the people
before releasing their full residential addresses.

Instead, he argued that people’s residential addresses were published in telephone directories and he argued that the Fijian Elections Office had a voter roll as well.

However, he was informed that those who wished to have their names and details published in the telephone directories gave them willingly and that the FEO voter roll was not put on Facebook for people around the world to see.

“You are right there. But had hope(d) some people can have their polling station changed before it closes today (yesterday),” Mr Baba said.

Women’s Group outraged:

Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre co-ordinator Shamima Ali expressed concerns about names of women and other vulnerable groups named.

“Without permission of the persons concerned, no one has the right to publish those details. Everyone has the right to privacy and that should be respected,” she said.

“It’s also dangerous for women and girls because they are so vulnerable to sexual predators and it’s our responsibility to ensure we minimise all dangerous situations for them.

“It’s the height of irresponsibility to publish details of people that put them in terrible peril,” she said.

Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem could not be reached to comment when this edition went to press.

SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka maintained he was in meetings most of yesterday and could not comment.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: wati.talebula@fijisun.com.fj

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