QUES­TIONED

Rabuka, Prasad, Singh, Baba and Daku­vula be­ing treated prop­erly in Po­lice cus­tody, says Ash­win Raj

Fiji Sun - - Front Page - JY­OTI PRAT­I­BHA

Politi­cians, a trade union­ist and a non-govern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tion staff mem­ber who were taken in for ques­tion­ing by Po­lice yes­ter­day are be­ing treated prop­erly, says Fiji Hu­man Rights and Anti-Dis­crim­i­na­tion Com­mis­sion direc­tor Ash­win Raj. Mr Raj vis­ited the five men who were de­tained overnight as Po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tions con­tin­ued into com­ments made at a Pa­cific Di­a­logue fo­rum held at the St An­drews Pres­by­te­rian Church in Suva re­cently. SODELPA leader Si­tivevni Rabuka vol­un­tar­ily at­tended the Po­lice in­ter­view while Na­tional Fed­er­a­tion Party leader Bi­man Prasad, trade union­ist At­tar Singh, for­mer politi­cian Tu­peni Baba and

Pa­cific Di­a­logue’s Jone Daku­vula were rounded up and taken to To­togo Po­lice Sta­tion yes­ter­day. Mr Rabuka spent the night at Rai­waqa Po­lice Sta­tion, Mr Prasad, Mr Singh and Mr Baba spent the night at To­togo, while Mr Daku­vula spent the night at Sam­ab­ula Po­lice Sta­tion. Mr Raj last night said he met with the five and in­formed them of their rights as ar­rested and de­tained per­sons. “The Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice was very re­cep­tive in fa­cil­i­tat­ing my re­quest to visit hon­ourable Bi­man Prasad, Mr Si­tiveni Rabuka, Mr At­tar Singh, Mr Tu­peni Baba, and Jone Daku­vula who are held at var­i­ous Po­lice sta­tions around the cen­tral di­vi­sion. “I checked on whether they had been fed, needed any med­i­cal at­ten­tion, were able to com­mu­ni­cate with their fam­ily and had ac­cess to their le­gal coun­sel. “I un­der­stand that they will be held overnight for the pur­poses of be­ing in­ter­viewed and the Hu­man Rights and Anti-Dis­crim­i­na­tion Com­mis­sion will be mon­i­tor­ing the progress of these in­ves­ti­ga­tions as well as the wel­fare of these de­tained in­di­vid­u­als.

“The Fi­jian Con­sti­tu­tion pro­tects free­dom of speech and ex­pres­sion as well as free­dom of assem­bly but both these

rights come with jus­ti­fi­able lim­i­ta­tions in the in­ter­ests of na­tional se­cu­rity, pub­lic safety and pub­lic or­der. “These lim­i­ta­tions must never be used to quell dis­sent­ing opin­ions and must be pro­por­tion­ate to the goal of pro­tect­ing hu­man rights. All ex­pres­sion, dis­sent­ing or other­wise needs to be within the bounds of law and pro­mote demo­cratic val­ues,” Mr Raj said. The premises of Na­tional Fed­er­a­tion Party were also searched by Po­lice of­fi­cers yes­ter­day. Fiji Labour Party leader Ma­hen­dra Chaudhry is also ex­pected to be ques­tioned. He is said to be in Lau­toka. First to be taken in was Mr Baba fol­lowed by Mr Daku­vula. Mr Singh was brought to the To­togo Po­lice Sta­tion next, fol­lowed by Mr Rabuka’s ar­rival. Mr Prasad was brought in af­ter of­fi­cers vis­ited his house twice. On the first visit, Mr Prasad was not at home.

SODELPA leader Si­tiveni Rabuka at the To­togo Po­lice Sta­tion yes­ter­day. Photo: Ron­ald Ku­mar

Lawyer Ra­man Pratap Singh (left) with Fiji Trades Union Congress Gen­eral Sec­re­tary At­tar Singh at the To­togo Po­lice Sta­tion yes­ter­day. Photo: Ron­ald Ku­mar

Tu­peni Baba as he was taken in for ques­tion­ing at the To­togo Po­lice Sta­tion yes­ter­day. Photo: Ron­ald Ku­mar

Bi­man Prasad, of the Na­tional Fed­er­a­tion Party, as he was taken in for ques­tion­ing at the To­togo Po­lice Sta­tion yes­ter­day. Photo: Ron­ald Ku­mar

Jone Daku­vula, of the Pa­cific Di­a­logue non-govern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tion as he was taken to the To­togo Po­lice Sta­tion for ques­tion­ing yes­ter­day. Photo: Ron­ald Ku­mar

Fiji Hu­man Rights and Anti-Dis­crim­i­na­tion Com­mis­sion direc­tor Ash­win Raj.

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