No permit has been given to any group in relation to Gaza conflict due to security reasons – Police
Acting COMPOL has directed the matter be investigated – ACP Driu

No permit has been given to any group in relation to Gaza conflict due to security reasons – Police

Acting COMPOL has directed the matter be investigated – ACP Driu

By Navitalai Naivalurua , Vijay Narayan
Thursday 16/11/2023

Police have clarified that to date, no permit has been given to any group or applicant in relation to the Israel and Gaza situation due to security reasons, and the status quo remains.

In response to concerns raised regarding the approval of a permit to certain groups to protest on the situation in Israel and Gaza, Assistant Commissioner of Police Operations Livai Driu says they have been alerted of gatherings organized by the Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ Fiji Branch), a subject of a social media post stating that approval had been given.

He says while there was no mention of the approval being given by Police, understandably there is public perception that the authorization would have been from Police.

ACP Driu says they wish to clarify that Police did not approve a permit, but have since confirmed that the approval was referring to the use of the meeting venue, granted by the venue management.

He adds the Acting Commissioner Juki Fong Chew had also directed the matter be investigated, where it has been established that the ICEJ Fiji Branch as part of their two-year, monthly scheduled prayer vigils held since 2022, had organized a vigil for members of the church to pray over the nation and other prayer needs shared.

The Assistant Commissioner says he has personally spoken to the Director of the ICEJ Fiji Branch and thanked him for his understanding and cooperation, as the posts, photos and videos shared on social media had been perceived in a different manner, other than for its intended purpose, a prayer vigil. He says they do however caution members of the public to follow due processes and work within the ambits of the law, and any breach will be dealt with accordingly.

ACP Driu says the Fiji Police Force’s priority remains the maintenance of law and order and the safety of all Fijians and the status quo will remain with regards to any application to gather for the Israel and Gaza situation as they do not want to risk the peace and security of the community.

Meanwhile, the NGO Coalition on Human Rights in Fiji confirms Police have denied their permit to march in Suva at 10am today to call for peace, humanitarian aid and an end to the genocide in Gaza.

According to the NGO Coalition, this is due to fears of retaliation.

However, they say that the Christian zionists can openly gather in a public place outside Parliament, waving the Israeli flag without a permit.

The NGO Coalition raised concerns after the group was seen praying and waving the Israeli flag outside parliament at around midnight Tuesday when the country was put under controlled movement due to the approaching cyclone.

The NGO Coalition confirms they are gathering today for a #ThursdaysInBlack vigil at 5.30pm at the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre compound in Suva to call for a ceasefire now and to stop the genocide.

We have sent questions to the Minister for Home Affairs, Pio Tikoduadua.

Stay with us for developments.

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