Fiji-Islands-Map2Gay rights activists in Fiji are accusing police of homophobia after the first planned pride march through the Pacific nation’s capital was cancelled at the last minute, reported The Australian.

The Oceania Pride group applied for and received a permit last month to hold the march, but were told on the morning of the event that it had been cancelled.

Roshika Deo, a trustee of Oceania Pride, said “They said we cannot march today because they did not realise they had given a permit for gays to march,” Deo told the Australian Federal Police.

The event was planned for today to mark International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia.

Deo said police told her that the official who vetted the permit application had not realised what the words homophobia and transphobia referred to, according to The Australian.

She added organisers had expected about 60 people at the march in the deeply religious country, where all public gatherings must receive approval from the ruling military regime and where homosexuality was only decriminilised 2010.

Fiji police said the march was stopped because of concerns about the safety of participants following recent media attention.

“At the end of the day, the safety of all Fijians is the main priority for the police force,” Commissioner Ioane Naivalurua said in a statement.

He said the Fiji police is a non-discriminatory organisation.

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