Regional human right defenders defends Roshika Deo

February 12, 2023 4:36 pm

Roshika Deo. [Source: Roshika Deo/ Twitter]

The Pacific Human Rights Defenders Network is urging the government of Fiji to protect human rights defenders from intimidation and retaliation for exposing human rights violations.

Chair Doctor Natasha Khan claims the recent arbitrary arrest and detention of feminist human rights defender Roshika Deo raises concern about the curtailment of her legitimate action in speaking out on human rights issues.

Police say Deo was questioned in relation to her social media post allegedly contained false information regarding the assault of a man who was brought into custody at the Totogo Police Station.

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The investigation file will be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions’ Office for sanctioning.

This is the second time CID has detained and questioned Deo about her social media posts in the last two months.

Dr Khan says human rights defenders act to address human rights issues on behalf of an individual or groups or to highlight instances of human rights abuses they become privy to.

She urges the Fiji Government to adopt the principles set out in the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and to review existing police practices and procedures which unduly target human rights defenders and violate their rights.

PHRDN also urges to Fiji Government and Fiji Police Force to adhere to the Principles & Standards of Protecting Human Rights Defenders, in particular not criminalize defending human rights, and accept dissenting views. End arbitrary detention and arrest and protect women human rights defenders