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Stalked, scared

Nasik Swami
Tuesday, June 03, 2014

"YOU deserve to be taken to a village, killed, cooked and buried there." That was just one of the many threats politician and human rights activist Roshika Deo claims was directed at her.

Ms Deo, for the past six months, said she had battled the belittling, dangerous threats until Sunday, when it all became too much and was forced to file an official police complaint.

In an interview, the vocal activist and independent candidate said since declaring her interest to contest the general election last year, she was subjected to sexual, physical and psychological threats to her life.

"Yesterday (Sunday) in the evening I went to the police station (Totogo Police Station, Suva) to file a report against the cyber attacks and harassment.

"The report is yet to be processed as I have to take the print-outs of the comments and a photo of the perpetrator today (yesterday)," Ms Deo said.

"I had attempted to file a report last year but had challenges at the police station.

"Yesterday, it went relatively well which is heartening to see," she said.

She said since the threats were intensifying, she genuinely feared for her life as a few of the perpetrators were her very own acquaintances.

"We daily hear of rape and physical assault cases against girls and women so the possibility is present.

"I heavily engage on Facebook and Twitter, and I am more than happy to respond to questions that are asked without the personal attacks.

"I personally love a good healthy debate and can appreciate various viewpoints.

"One can ask me many questions and I will be happy to respond, but if it is going to be racist, sexist and foul mouthed, and threaten my personal safety, then I am afraid I have zero tolerance for this kind of abuse and harassment," Ms Deo said.

She said recently, a few people had created fake Facebook accounts for the sole purpose of attacking, harassing and maligning her.

Ms Deo claimed in the past, a lot of girls and women were tarrgeted on Facebook for simply having an opinion or engaging in discussions over some issues.

Police chief operations officer Rusiate Tudravu said while he was briefed about a complaint on Facebook threats, the officers were at the police station were still looking for their report book.

"They (officers) will try and look at yesterday's (Sunday) report book. They are just looking.

"I heard in the morning brief today (yesterday) that there is one Facebook report that was done."





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