NEWS

Raj Tells Padarath To Lodge Complaint If Rights Violated

It is imperative that a court of law determines whether Mr Padarath’s right to free speech has been violated and whether his rights as an arrested, detained and the accused person has been violated.
06 Apr 2021 10:48
Raj Tells Padarath To Lodge Complaint If Rights Violated
Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission (HRADC) director Ashwin Raj.

Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission has told Benjamin Padarath to lodge a complaint with the Commission if he feels his rights have been violated.

The Commission’s director, Ashwin Raj said Mr Padarath could not be compared with the victim of Police brutality in Naqia where the commission did conduct investigations on its own accord.

Mr Raj said the commission proceeded with investigations on its own motion in the Naqia case precisely because the victim had been gruesomely beaten and hospitalised.

He said the victim had no access to legal counsel, no one had lodged a complaint on his behalf, and had no access to remedy.

“Mr Padarath, on the other hand, has access to a legal counsel with select media and politicians speaking vociferously on his behalf,” he said.

“It is imperative that a court of law determines whether Mr Padarath’s right to free speech has been violated and whether his rights as an arrested, detained and the accused person has been violated.

“If we are going to be an arbiter of who should be charged and who should not and for what reasons, then why are we not doing this in all cases?

“Why such an inordinate interest in the case of Mr Padarath? Shouldn’t everyone enjoy equal treatment and benefit from the law and not just those with political clout?

“Since we harp a lot about the need for institutions to operate independently, shouldn’t this matter be dealt with appropriately by an independent and impartial judiciary rather than the kangaroo court of the social media?

“If we are going to vehemently protect the right to free speech, then let us be principled and not apply it selectively,” Mr Raj said.

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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