No prosecutions for voicing political dissent in Fiji: DPP
January 4, 2018 6:45 pm
Director of Public Prosecutions, Christopher Pryde, says an article published on the Radio New Zealand International website on December 23rd entitled “2017 in Pacific Politics: A turbulent ride to stability” is factually incorrect and requires correction and clarification.
In the article the writers stated that MPs in Fiji risk being charged with sedition for voicing dissent.
The article under the subheading ‘Fiji’ reads “FijiFirst will fancy its chances of returning to power at next year’s general election, but the opposition forces are steadily gaining momentum, despite MPs risking being charged with sedition for voicing dissent.”
DPP Christopher Pryde, says no one in Fiji risks being charged with sedition for voicing dissent.
He says no one in Fiji has been charged with sedition for voicing dissent.
Pryde says this is not the first time RNZ and other media organizations have stated or implied that Fiji’s criminal laws on sedition are being used to stifle legitimate political dissent and debate.
He says it is vitally important, especially in an election year, that all political parties, politicians and participants in the political process understand that no criminal proceedings will be instituted against any individual or organization for engaging in legitimate political discussion.
Pryde says decision on whether a breach of law has been made is carefully analyzed by lawyers in the Office of DPP with full regard to the criminal law and the rights and freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution.
He says final decision on whether a charge will be laid in the courts is made by the DPP and no one else.