Fiji Parliament passes Public Order Amendment bill

Fiji's Parliament has passed the Public Order Amendment Bill, allowing political groups more freedom to hold meetings without a police permit.

Meeting and March organizers will now only need to apply for a permit if they're planned for a public park or road.

Until now, a permit had also been required for gatherings held in community halls or any other public space.

Fiji Village reported the legislation would still allow the police to stop a meeting or procession if it was in the interest of law and order.

The Public Order Act was controversially amended in 2012 under the then military-led government.

Opposition figures criticised the changes, saying people were too fearful to attend meetings.


Photo: RNZI/Sally Round (A statue of the Fiji statesman Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna stands guard outside Fiji's government buildings, Suva)