The power to detain
BIMAN: THERE MUST BE GOOD REASONS FOR DEPRIVING A PERSON OF THEIR LIBERTY
“We note that Mr Padarath has been charged by FICAC. We do not know the facts in connection with those charges and we do not comment on the charges or any of the matters in connection with the charges.
However we are concerned at the manner in which people are repeatedly arrested and detained, including for minor issues such as curfew breaches and whether by FICAC or Police. There must always be good reasons for depriving a person of their liberty. Not even a person suspected of a crime should be detained unless the investigators honestly believe that the suspect is a flight risk or there is some other good reason for it.
“Fiji law enforcement agencies – including the Police when enforcing curfew breaches – seem to believe that they have a right to detain people for 48 hours any time they want. That is not true. That right exists only if it is necessary to use it.
“The Fiji Human Rights Commission has refused to speak up on these repeated breaches of human rights, which have affected literally thousands of people since the curfew was enforced.
“It is also the job of the Attorney-General and other Government law officers, including the Legal Aid Commission, to speak up. They too are supposed to protect people from loss of their rights. But they stay silent.
“Why? Because the Government no longer has the support of the people. So it prefers to rule using fear as a weapon of control.”
Professor Biman Prasad
National Federation Party
(Fiji Times - Friday 2 April 2021)
NFP ON BEN PADARATH'S DETENTION: 'There must be Good Reasons for depriving a person of their liberty'; Padarath locked up until 8 April