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Police investigate hate speech

February 11, 2018 7:37 pm

Police have confirmed they are currently investigating a few cases of hate speech on social media.

Commissioner Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho says there is a high circulation of racial and religious hate speech which has become a growing concern.

“It is worrying for us in the Police Force because hate speech could lead to other issues which at the end of the day we have to deal with. It could incite people to perform other criminal acts that at the end of the day Police will have to deal with. Yes we’re investigating some now and I have directed that we pick these up as there are a few cases that we can investigate and process it through the courts so that it can be a deterrent to others. Its worrying we’re building up to elections and we don’t want anything to spoil or disrupt the election process.”

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Qiliho says Fijians or Politicians who post on social media with the intension to incite racial and religious intolerance will be dealt with by the force.

However, the Commissioner says giving a view or criticizing policies on social media is not an issue.

Qiliho says with election nearing behaviour of this sort is expected to increase.

Meanwhile, Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Driscimation Commission Director,
Ashwin Raj says hate speech based on a person’s ethnicity and religion on social media cannot be blanket under the guise of freedom of expression.

Raj says when Fijians conduct themselves in this manner they are exposing themselves to defamation lawsuits.

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