Human Rights Commission investigates assault claims by 16-year-old boy while NGO Coalition calls for urgent action

Human Rights Commission investigates assault claims by 16-year-old boy while NGO Coalition calls for urgent action

By Vijay Narayan
Saturday 02/11/2019

The Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission confirms that its investigation team travelled to an outer-island earlier this week and conducted preliminary interviews with the parent of a 16-year-old who was reportedly allegedly assaulted while being interrogated by people who the boy said were members of the RFMF.

This alleged interrogation and assault took place after a social media post. 

Commission Director Ashwin Raj says pursuant to section 32(2) of the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission Act and considering that the complainant is a minor and therefore primary consideration must be given to the best interests of the child, the Commission will continue its investigations in private and will not be making any further media statements in relation to this case until such time that the Commission has concluded its investigations. 

Raj says this is imperative in ensuring that there is no trial by the media that can potentially subject the complainant to further reprisal and recrimination. 

Meanwhile, the NGO Coalition for Human Rights has said in a statement that it is extremely concerned with the recent report of the 16-year-old boy being taken in by the Fiji Military Forces, for questioning, over a Facebook post and the subsequent allegations of torture.

The coalition says the Facebook post depicted a vandalised bus with derogatory remarks against the Prime Minister.

NGO Coalition Chair Nalini Singh says they are deeply concerned with the alleged treatment of a child by the military particularly the allegation of torture.

Singh says they are also disappointed with the response from the Commissioner of Police that such arrests are lawful and they reiterate the call for the protection of human rights.

Singh says it is deeply troubling that the Fiji Police Force has justified these actions and the joint Police and Military operations continue even today. 

The NGO Coalition also says that they 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 also calls for independent investigations into these allegations of torture by the security forces. 

Army Commander Rear Admiral Viliame Naupoto had earlier said that he is unaware of any such incident and he also says that he will not make any further comments on this issue.

Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho has not made any comments however Police had earlier said that they were investigating the allegation made by the 16-year-old boy.

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
IN DEPTH
Fiji continues to be affected by COVID-19
Contact tracing continues for most parts of Suva and Nausori. Mon 19th Apr Tue 20th Apr Wed 21st Apr Thu 22nd Apr Sat 24th Apr Sun ...
2 days ago

258,000 people lived under the Basic Needs Poverty Line according to the 2019-20 Household Income and Expenditure Survey
Survey says almost one in five school aged children in Fiji are educationally deprived
2 days ago

Debate on the Bill to Amend the iTaukei Land Trust Act
Debate on the Bill to Amend the iTaukei Land Trust ...
48 days ago
FEATURE NEWS
FULL STORY: Viti Levu borders to be lifted from tomorrow, curfew hours for Viti Levu will be from 9pm until 4am and social gatherings of up to 20 people permitted indoors in people’s homes and up to 30 people outside
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has announced that from 4am tomorrow, 17th September 2021, the containment area borders will lift everywhere on Viti...
3 hours ago
LATEST NEWS
Children between 15 to 17 years will be vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine
Permanent Secretary for Health Dr James Fong says they will be vaccinating children between 15 to 17 years with the Moderna vaccine and this exercise ...
1 hour ago

Once we vaccinate at least 80% of adults in Fiji, we will be in an excellent position to open quarantine-free travel with other countries that have deployed the same vaccines we are using in Fiji - PM
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says once we vaccinate at least 80% of adults in Fiji, we will be in an excellent position to open quarantine-free ...
1 hour ago

All workplaces, houses of worship, hotels, restaurants, cafés, cinemas, gyms, pools and tattoo parlours will be able to open at 70% capacity from Oct 4th but only to fully vaccinated persons
From October 4th, all workplaces, tertiary institutions, houses of worship, hotels, restaurants, cafés, cinemas, gyms, pools, tattoo parlours will ...
2 hours ago

NGO Coalition on Human Rights shocked at the instant termination of Kemueli Naiqama
The NGO Coalition on Human Rights says they were shocked to hear about the unfair dismissal, instant termination and the reported ‘escorting' of ...
4 hours ago

Voting and counting processes for the 2022 General Elections will be done manually – Saneem
Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem says voting and counting processes for the 2022 General Elections will be done manually. Saneem says there ...
5 hours ago

TOP