FWCC Coordinator Shamima Ali, femLINKpacific Executive Director Susan Naisara Grey and FWRM Executive Director Nalini Singh.
The Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre, femLINKpacific and the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement are calling for investigations from the relevant authorities, including the Fiji Police Force, the Human Rights and Anti Discrimination Commission and the Online Safety Commission.
Crisis Centre Coordinator, Shamima Ali says the Online Safety Commission should not sit silently when these crimes continue to happen almost on a daily basis. Ali says raising awareness about cyberbullying is one thing, but the enforcement of the law is equally important.
Ali says the silence is deafening from women MPs from both sides of the House.
She says this is when solidarity is important.
The women’s groups say the social media commentator on his Facebook page, Kishore Kumar Publications, has made several public videos vilifying and defaming female members of parliament.
They say the public posts contain abusive and sexually derogatory remarks against certain women members of parliament.
The groups call for urgent action to condemn all forms of violence and discrimination against women and address the disturbing series of attacks from Kumar.
Shamima Ali says this is often how men discourage, deter and malign younger women and women in all their diversities from political participation and national discussions at all levels.
Ali says such comments on an open public platform are not only detrimental for women but pose great risks to their safety and national participation.
She says this is a great example of cyberbullying, harassment and hate speech.
femLINKpacific Executive Director, Susan Naisara Grey says this repeated and targeted acts of psychological violence including character attacks, cyberbullying and harassment, on Lenora Qereqeretabua and other female members of Parliament, must also be condemned by all parties and the State, with further action to be taken.
Grey says they condemn the violence, which includes all forms of aggression, coercion and intimidation against women as political actors, which is one of the most serious hurdles to women’s full and equal political participation.
FWRM Executive Director Nalini Singh says there must be no impunity for violence against women, including within the cyber and virtual space.
Singh says it is unacceptable that Kishore Kumar is allowed to continue making targeted sexist attacks that are discriminatory, abusive and defamatory against women and there have been no repercussions for his action.
She says violence against women is a non-partisan issue and whichever woman he targets, whether a government MP or a member of the opposition, it must be condemned and there must be justice.
Singh says it is equally disturbing to note that Kumar is a high school teacher and that he is allowed into classrooms despite his unethical and misogynistic behaviour.
She says there must be better standards set by the Ministry of Education for educators as they play such a significant role for young people and children.
Police confirm the CID Unit is investigating the complaint filed against Kishore Kumar by Qereqeretabua.
Education Minister, Rosy Akbar has also confirmed that the Human Resources Department is investigating the complaint filed against Kumar by the NFP Youth General Secretary.
Complaint filed against a teacher allegedly behind repeated fb posts to humiliate Qereqeretabua with references to porn and immoralityBy Vijay NarayanThursday 22/10/2020
Minister for Education Rosy Akbar, NFP Youth General Secretary Apenisa Vatuniveivuke and NFP parliamentarian Lenora Qereqeretabua. [image: File]
Minister for Education, Rosy Akbar has received a complaint by the National Federation Party Youth General Secretary that a teacher in Suva is allegedly behind repeated facebook posts to humiliate NFP parliamentarian, Lenora Qereqeretabua with references to pornography and immorality.
In his official complaint to the Minister for Education, NFP Youth General Secretary, Apenisa Vatuniveivuke says the teacher’s name is Kishore Kumar and he is reliably informed that Kumar is employed by the ministry as a Computer Science Teacher at a school in Suva.
Vatuniveivuke says Kumar has irrefutably referred to Qereqeretabua as a Fly-Style Porn Star. He says these posts have been available on Facebook, a public forum, for months.
He says his concern is whether the Ministry of Education is aware of these incidences and why no action has been taken.
The complainant says the public and by extension students, have access to these posts and he has raised the question on what kind of example is the ministry setting for the students.
When questioned by fijivillage, Rosy Akbar says allegations against teachers are referred to the Human Resources Department to investigate. She says this complaint has been referred to HR as well.
Qereqeretabua says Kumar’s allegations are false, and it is clear the online bullying is to intimidate her. However she says she is undeterred by these false claims.
Qereqeretabua says she will fight on and she is also thankful to many people who continue to defend her.
Police confirm that Qereqeretabua had lodged a report with the CID and it is currently under investigation.
The complaint was filed in August.