Sunday Ban violates Freedoms of Movement & Religion and Liberty

Postdate: 30/ 01/ 2009

A Northern chief’s decision stopping villagers from travelling on Sundays except to church gatherings, is violating the human rights of Freedom of Movement, Freedom of Religion and Belief, and the Right to Life and Liberty, according to the Citizens’ Constitutional Forum (CCF).

“The practice of the Sunday Ban was removed in Fiji because it was interfering in people’s life and restricting people’s movements and choice of activities,” CCF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rev Akuila Yabaki said. “The new Sunday Ban has created problems for people from Cawaro Village at Udu Point. Students have not been able to go to school.”

“We are particularly appalled that this chief is enforcing the Sunday Ban because he wants to force the people of his village to go to church. Religious beliefs and practices are a matter of choice. We are free to choose to follow a religion. We are also free to choose not to follow religious practices. This is guaranteed through the clause on Freedom of Religion and Belief in our Constitution,” Rev Yabaki said.

“We are concerned that economic activity and people’s movement have been restricted because of this Sunday Ban. This is a violation of Freedom of Movement and the Right to Life and Liberty,” Rev Yabaki said.

For further information, please contact CCF on ph: 3308379, fax: 3308380.

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Rev Akuila Yabaki

Chief Executive Officer

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