20th February 12:32 AM
Violence not tolerated in Fiji - PM
By Vijay Narayan
Friday 28/10/2016
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama while speaking at the Regional Workshop On The UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment Or Punishment [Photo: Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum]

Violence in any form has no place in Fiji.

Those are the words of Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama while speaking at the Regional Workshop On The UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment Or Punishment.

Bainimarama has stressed that there is no act of torture in Fiji that has been sanctioned by the state.

Bainimarama says that there have been isolated instances in Fiji of individuals or groups from the disciplined forces acting in an undisciplined way and resorting to acts of torture and other forms of punishment that violate the human rights of their fellow citizens.

He says the same conduct has occurred from time to time in the law enforcement agencies of larger democracies, including Australia and New Zealand.

The Prime Minister says that while they can never be condoned, whatever the setting, the difference in Fiji’s case is that such events have been politicised.

Bainimarama says Fiji is being singled out for condemnation, for behaviour that also occurs in the jurisdictions of Fiji’s critics.

He also made it clear that the law enforcement agencies are determined to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Bainimarama also spoke about the recent case of alleged police brutality in Navua and the case regarding the late Vilikesa Soko which is now before the courts.

Bainimarama says we have long had a culture in Fiji of people resorting to violence whether it is against women in the home, instilling discipline in our children or the police attempting to extract confessions from criminal suspects.

While speaking at the regional workshop, Bainimarama also raised the issue that the standard bearer for democracy, the United States of America, has resorted to torture, with the standard objective of protecting itself against a determined and ruthless enemy.

He says while the practice has now been banned by Presidential order, the CIA has admitted using waterboarding against captured terrorist suspects.

Bainimarama also highlighted that Australia is detaining asylum seekers in cruel, inhumane or degrading circumstances in detention centres in Nauru and Manus Island to protect the integrity of its borders.

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