Thursday, June 17, 2021
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The NGO Coalition On Human Rights Calls For A Stop To Police Brutality In Fiji


A viral video has circulated online showing two police
officers utilising disproportionate and excessive force in
detaining the suspect, an individual half their size. In the
video it shows the man’s head being pressed down on the
ground, his arms being pulled back aggressively, being
pepper sprayed in the eyes, and in one instance the man
complained that he was being choked.

It is disturbing
to watch the unreasonable force being used on civilians
despite our many pleas for the authorities to uphold and
respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of our citizens,
even more so during arrests. Every Fijian’s right to be
free from cruel and degrading treatment must not be
compromised at any time.

There were also recent
reports by the media of a man who was allegedly assaulted by
eight police officers and a military personnel during a drug
raid in Tukavesi, Cakaudrove last month.

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 once again reminds our law
enforcers and institutions that they are responsible for the
protection and safety of all citizens and demands that more
effort and emphasis is put towards upholding the rule of law
and protection of our citizens’ human rights

Fiji is
facing serious cases of human rights violations where the
Police have used excessive force during arrests on
individuals. The video is yet another disgraceful display of
the lack of commitment of the Fiji Police in upholding and
respecting human rights of Fijians.

In 2018, Fiji had
its third review for the Universal Periodic Review 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.

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 for no one
is above the
law.

© Scoop Media

 



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