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Police investigate reports of hate speech

February 8, 2018 7:01 pm

Police are currently investigating some reports of hate speech circulating on social media which has become a growing concern in the country.

Police Commissioner Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho says with general election nearing, posts that can likely spread hatred are increasing.

The Police Commissioner says hate speeches mostly posted from fake accounts are troubling as it can lead to other issues which can incite people to conduct criminal acts.

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“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. It’s worrying we’re building up to elections and we don’t want anything to spoil or disrupt the election process.”

The Police Chief says people can give their views or criticize policies… but posts that can create tension will be dealt with by the force.

“We’re looking at that. Those that have been reported to us. We’re pursuing that and we have to monitor that more closely but you’re right it has spiked more recently and it has to be addressed now rather than later.”

This was well received by Director of Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission Ashwin Raj adding people spreading and advocating hate speech are taken to task and face the full brunt of the law.

He also slammed those posting hate speeches claiming they’re not from ordinary Fijians.

“Because these are rich powerful people because all they do is sit and divide the nation the whole day and state on social media ruining all kinds of statements without realizing the damage it does to the people. Who pays the price for hate speeches and advocacy of hatred? Ordinary folks and villages and communities. Who gets raped? Whose houses get burnt down? Who’s affected the most? The Poor! People who have had nothing to do with it. The rich and powerful sit in their lofty little spaces and run commentary because everything is a bloody joke to them.”

Raj has also confirmed they have received numerous reports against hate speech which have been forwarded to the Police.

The public is also urged to lodge a complaint if they come across any such post.

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