REASSURING STATEMENT. DPP Pryde: "No person or organisation would be prosecuted for voicing political dissent, engaging in robust political debate or for expressing legitimate criticisms of Government..."
THE Director of Public Prosecutions, Christopher Pryde, has assured the public that no person or organisation would be prosecuted for voicing political dissent, engaging in robust political debate or for expressing legitimate criticisms of the Government.
He made the comment after the publishing of an article by an overseas media organisation, which claimed that members of Parliament risked being charged with sedition for voicing dissent.
Mr Pryde said the statement in the article was factually incorrect and required correction and clarification.
"No one in Fiji risks being charged with sedition for voicing dissent. No one in Fiji has been charged with sedition for voicing dissent," he said.
He said it was important, especially that this year was election year, that all political parties, politicians and participants in the political process understood that no criminal proceedings would be instituted against any individual or organisation for engaging in legitimate political discussion.
"A decision as to whether a breach of the law has been made is carefully analysed by lawyers in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions with full regard to criminal law and the rights and freedoms guaranteed to all people under the Fijian Constitution."
He also clarified final decision on whether a charge would be laid in the courts was made by the DPP and no one else. Source: The Fiji Times, 5 January 2018
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