Skip to main content

35+ years of activism & feminism in Fiji

Published

12 August 2020

Author

Fiji Women's Rights Movement

Themes

NGOCHR Disturbed About Reports of Alleged Assault 12/08/2020

NGOCHR disturbed about reports of alleged assault

12/8/2020

The NGO Coalition on Human Rights is deeply disturbed about recent alleged reports of civilian brutality by the police and military.

“We are astounded with these new reports of alleged brutality of civilians despite several calls for the authorities to uphold and respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of our citizens. The security forces need to use a human rights approach when dealing with Fijians. Every citizen's freedom from cruel and degrading treatment must not be compromised at any time,” said NGOCHR Chair, Nalini Singh.

The NGOCHR was reacting to recent media reports of a man that was allegedly assaulted by a police officer in civilian clothing in Nausori and the alleged assault of a  cane cutter by the military in Labasa.

“No one is above the law, and once again we reiterate the need for the authorities concerned to improve their procedures and ensure high standards of conduct when handling civilians,” Ms Singh said.  

The Coalition states that excessive force and brutality is unacceptable and violates our commitment to the United Nations Convention Against Torture. The right of every Fijian is guaranteed in the 2013 Fiji constitution. The NGOCHR demands more effort and emphasis on upholding the rule of law and protection of our citizens’ human rights.

Ms Singh said these alleged incidents were shameful and disregarded Fiji’s international commitments to upholding and respecting human rights of Fijians. Fiji underwent its third review for the Universal Periodic Review in November 2019 and supported recommendations made in relation to promoting and raising awareness of human rights for the police officers. We must ensure that these recommendations translate into meaningful change to prevent such incidents of alleged police brutality of Civilians.

NGOCHR supports and acknowledges the investigations undertaken by the Anti Human Rights Commission into both matters and also by the Fiji Police Force. The Coalition calls on the RFMF to follow suit. The results of this investigation must be made public and those involved must be dealt with no impunity.

The Coalition reiterates the need for continued effort at elimination of torture and brutality for Fiji and to cultivate a culture of democracy that upholds citizen’s human rights.

END

For more information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

The Members of the NGOCHR include the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre (FWCC), Fiji Women's Rights Movement, Citizens Constitutional Forum (CCF), femLINKpacific, Social Empowerment and Education Program (SEEP), and Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality Fiji. Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG) and Haus of Khameleon (HoK) are observers.