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35+ years of activism & feminism in Fiji

Published

17 October 2018

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Fiji Women's Rights Movement

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NGOCHR: Independent investigations for the death of Josua Lalauvaki

 17/10/2018           Press Release: Independent investigations for the death of Josua Lalauvaki

The NGO Coalition for Human Rights (Coalition) expresses deep concern over Fiji Police’s alleged assault which led to the death of Josua Lalauvaki. The Coalition affirms that justice for Josua Lalauvaki’s death starts with an independent investigation.

“We welcome the Police Commissioner’s recent comments that an investigation has been directed with the hope that the investigation will be independent with no impunity to those responsible for Josua Lalauvaki’s death. It is important for authorities to bear the responsibility for ending impunity for torture, it is a crime and an extremely serious violation of human rights. There must be justice for the victims”, says Coalition Chair, Nalini Singh.

“The unfortunate death of Josua Lalauvaki’s following an alleged assault by Police officers if not investigated thoroughly and allowed due process through the law will indicate Fiji’s lack of commitment to human rights and United Nations Convention against Torture. This commitment is especially needed as Fiji has won its bid for a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council and must show leadership in upholding human rights. It is even more troubling as Police brutality has been a persistent issue in Fiji as the Coalition had released a similar comments over the death of Vikarant Nand in February 2017. Vikrant Nand had died in Police custody,” Singh continued.

“This abuse of authority through excessive force is absolutely unaccepted conduct by Police. The Police has to have higher standards for its conduct with the public as such incidents cause mistrust. The Police’s actions in this case should have greater consequences as they have a duty to serve and protect the public. It is apparent that there should be greater efforts to improve Police procedures for dealing with detainees. The Police’s a perceived notion of impunity can only change if efforts are made to substantively put into practice the human rights commitments,” Singh further remarked.

“We are aware Josua Lalauvaki was taken to Totogo Police Station after being detained. Any investigation that is undertaken should note if Totogo police station had followed “First Hour Procedure” and informed Legal Aid of his detainment. Furthermore if a video recording had been done for his caution interview if his detainment had reached this stage. We also hope for Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission’s scrutiny into the overall investigation,” Singh additionally stated.

The Coalition reiterates the need for an independent investigation, of which the results should be made public; and a continued effort at eliminating torture and police brutality for Fiji to cultivate a culture of democracy that emphasises rule of law, accountability and equal protection of citizens’ human rights.

For further enquiries please Nalini Singh, 998 2221 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Menka Goundan on 998 2283 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.