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35+ years of activism & feminism in Fiji

Published

18 May 2022

Author

Fiji Women's Rights Movement

Themes

NGOCHR PR: Violent Extremism by Police Officers Not Acceptable 18/05/2022

NGOCHR PRESS RELEASE:

 18/05/2022

 Violent Extremism by Police Officers Not Acceptable

 Yet another viral video has surfaced online showing a police officer utilising disproportionately excessive and unreasonable force to obtain information from a bus driver in Labasa.

 Aggressively pulling, manhandling and threatening a man and passengers in the bus for simply not providing information that the officer needed, is an overreaction, unprofessional and uncalled for. It is the role of police officers to enforce the law, not abuse it.

 The NGO Coalition on Human Rights has lost track of the number of press releases and statements made on this issue. How many more cases of police harassment, bullying, intimidation and violence does the Coalition need to call out for the Police Force to take serious steps in addressing the issue? A mere suspension is not good enough. Conducting internal investigation without any real attitudinal change by the Police Force, is not good enough either. It seems the entire Police Force has an organizational culture of violent extremism when dealing with ordinary citizens.

 This is not acceptable. Surely the Police Force inducts its officers with adequate training on how to police using tact and not violating the basic human rights of every person. Hurt egos should not be the reason why someone is manhandled in broad daylight.  

 Every year, this country faces serious cases of human rights violations where those, mandated to enforce the law, end up using excessive force on citizens. This latest viral video is yet another display of the lack of commitment by the Police Force in upholding and respecting the human rights of Fijians.

 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 citizens’ human rights for no one is above the law. 

 END

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