- October 21, 2022
Press Release 08/2022
Stop The Harassment Of Trade Unionists:
Trial of Felix Anthony’s case begins On Monday 24th October 2022
The harassment of trade unionists, individuals and organizations that speak against the dictatorial actions of this government has continues, despite repeated condemnation in the past.
Fiji Trade Union Congress National Secretary Felix Anthony with at FTUC office in Suva on May 1, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar. FS
On May 1st of 2019, reportedly the contracts of around 2000 workers of the Water Authority of Fiji who were members of the National Union of Workers were abruptly ended by WAF. Amid national outcry against the actions of WAF, these workers assembled at worksites and union offices around the country. On this very day, the National Secretary of the FTUC, Felix Anthony was arrested by the police from the conference room of the Ministry of Employment where he was attending a meeting with ministry officials, the Director of the ILO Office of the Pacific Island Countries accompanied by members of the FTUC Management Board.
Earlier in the day, several union staff and union members were harassed and arrested by police. These members charged and later acquitted. Around the country various other unionists were detained and questioned. Union offcies became the object of police operations and surveillance.
The following day the headquarters of the FTUC was raided by the CID, staff were questioned, and computers and files taken .
Mr Anthony was later charged for “causing public anxiety to the public” and has spent some three years appearing in court. The trial of Mr Anthony begins in Suva from Monday 24th of October, 2022.
The FTUC reminds the government that laws such as the Public Order Amendment Act that impinge on fundamental freedoms must be repealed or reviewed in accordance with the various Reports and recommendations of the ILO Committee of Experts on Application of Conventions and Recommendations and the Universal Periodic Review report and several recommendations thereunder regarding the gross abuse of workers’ rights in Fiji. The government has continued to ignore these reports and recommendations.
The FTUC will be joined by local and international unions on an awareness campaign next week regarding the ongoing intimidation and harassment of unions, workers and individuals in Fiji.
The rights to freedom of association, assembly and expression as fundamentals of a functioning democracy must be be defended at all times. FTUC will not be deterred by actions of the government to stifle democratic freedoms and good governance in the country.
For these reasons the charges against Mr Anthony are being vigorously defended.