Hon. Josaia V. Bainimarama Prime Minister Republic of Fiji, on behalf of Lithuanian Trade Union "Solidarumas", I would like to express our serious concern about the arrest and detention of Mr. Felix Anthony, National Secretary of the Fiji Trades Union Congress (FTUC).
I am extremely shocked to know that on 27 June 2019, Mr. Anthony was again arrested by police from his home in Lautoka for the alleged breach of Section 15 of the Public Order Act 1969 in regard to past investigations. We learned that he has been released on bail and the case to be called on 15th August 2019.
In the centenary conference of the International Labour Organisation just ended two weeks ago, Convention No.87 on freedom of association in Fiji was examined at the Committee of Application of Standards (CAS). Amongst other issues, the government of Fiji was urged to refrain from anti-union practices including arrests, detentions, violence, intimidation, harassment and interference.
We call on you to drop all charges against Mr. Felix Anthony without delay. The government of Fiji should also take immediate action to,
- Refrain from anti-union practices, including arrests, detentions, violence, intimidation and harassment and interference;
- Ensure that trade union officials are able to exercise in full their rights to freedom of association, freedom of assembly and speech without undue interference by the public authorities
- Stop any attempts in using the Public Order Act, the Commissioner for Police including the Criminal Investigation Department to suppress the rights to freedom of association, freedom of assembly and speech and;
- Expedite the implementation of the conclusions of the CAS and the Joint Implementation Report with social partners.
Rimtautas Ramanauskas, Vice-chairperson, Lithuanian Trade Union "Solidarumas"
C.c. Ms. Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, ITUC
Mr. Shoya Yoshida, General Secretary, ITUC Asia Pacific
Mr. Felix Anthony, National Secretary, FTUC, Fiji