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35+ years of activism & feminism in Fiji

Published

30 October 2019

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Fiji Women's Rights Movement

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NGOCHR PR: NGOCHR Speaks out against alleged torture of a 16 year old 30/10/19

NGOCHR: Speaks out against alleged torture of a 16 year old by Fiji Military

30/10/19

 The NGO Coalition for Human Rights is extremely concerned with the recent report of a sixteen year old being taken in by the Fiji Military Forces, for questioning, over a Facebook post and the subsequent allegations of torture. The Facebook post depicted a vandalised bus with derogatory remarks against Fiji’s Prime Minister.

“We are deeply concerned with the treatment of a child by the Fiji Military Forces particularly the allegation of torture. We are also disappointed with the response from the Commissioner of the Fiji Police that such arrests are lawful and we reiterate the call for the protection of human rights,” said NGOCHR Chair, Nalini Singh.

“We remind the Commissioner of Fiji Police that Section 11 of Fiji’s Constitution enshrines the Freedom from Cruel and Degrading Treatment and we urge the security forces to respect and uphold constitutional rights. Apart from Fiji’s Constitution, the country has also ratified the UN Convention Against Torture and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child,” she added. 

“It is deeply troubling that the Fiji Police Force has justified these actions and the joint Police and Military operations continue even today. We call for separation of the Police and Military with full and adequate resourcing of the Police to conduct investigations and arrests, and minimize arbitrary arrests by the Fiji Military Forces.”  

The Coalition calls for independent investigations into these allegations of torture by the security forces. The Coalition hopes that good sense will prevail and adequate measures put forward to protect detainees. The timing of this incident is of great concern considering that Fiji will be undergoing its review under the Universal Periodic Review next month. This threatens the progress Fiji has made towards improving the human rights situation and is also contradictory to Fiji’s commitments.

ENDS.

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

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