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Women's march cancelled

Dawn Gibson
Friday, March 08, 2013

THE Fiji Women's Crisis Centre's annual Reclaim the Night march scheduled for tonight has been cancelled by the Fiji Police Force for security reasons.

FWCC's director, Shamima Ali said the organisation was disappointed with the cancellation, especially given that the march was scheduled to be held this evening.

"In the past, we've had our permits refused and negotiated, but never in almost 23 years has the permit been cancelled," she said.

"The march is one which is synonymous with International Women's Day and highlights the need to establish spaces for women and girls to discuss the issue of sexual assault and the violation of their rights.

"We received a call early this afternoon (yesterday) from the police informing us that our permit that we received on February 19 had been withdrawn because of security reasons.

"To not be allowed to march and gather to show our abhorrence for rape and sexual assault is truly an affront to the women's movement in this country," Ms Ali stated.

In a statement released by the Ministry of Information yesterday afternoon, the police force confirmed that it had cancelled the march.

"Recent information received by the police indicates that there are threats to public order and the march may represent a significant security risk both for the wider public and those involved," it said.

"We invite the Women's Crisis Centre to re-submit its application to hold the march at a later date," the statement said.

Ms Ali said this (cancellation) was insulting given the amount of effort and time put into the planning of the event.

"We believe that it is quite callous of the police to take away our permit at the 11th hour," she said.





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