NEWS

Commission Director Calls On Police To Hold Officers To Account

The Commission further found that the officers who perpetuated these acts of violence also made efforts to cover up their actions. The actions of these police officers constitute an infraction of the constitutional right to be free from cruel and degrading treatment.
19 Nov 2019 11:51
Commission Director Calls On Police To Hold Officers To Account
Fiji Police

The Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission has concluded its investigations into allegations of cruel and degrading treatment of a suspect by police officers at Navua.

Police Station as initially reported by the Fiji Times on the 15 th of November 2019.

Pursuant to section 30 of the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission Act, the Commission conducted investigations on its own motion into these allegations on the same day.

Having concluded its investigations, the Commission confirms acts of excessive use of force during the arrest and assault in the course of the interrogation of the suspect resulting in 15% superficial scalding burns on the suspect’s back and arms. The suspect also sustained fractures on his ribs and a hairline fracture on his right ankle.

The Commission further found that the officers who perpetuated these acts of violence also made efforts to cover up their actions.
The actions of these police officers constitute an infraction of the constitutional right to be free from cruel and degrading treatment.

Section 11(1) of the Fijian Constitution states that “every person has the right to freedom from torture of any kind, whether physical, mental or emotional, and from cruel, inhuman, degrading or disproportionally severe treatment or punishment”. Furthermore, the available evidence including medical records, victim and witness statements as well as interview with concerned police officers suggests that the actions of the police officers at the Pacific Habour Police Post were clearly in breach of the provisions of the Criminal Procedures Act and the Crimes Act. Section 10(3) of the Criminal Procedure Act states that “nothing in this section justifies the use of greater for than is reasonable in the particular circumstances of the arrest, or is necessary for the
apprehension of the offender”.

Furthermore, section 275 of the Crimes Act stipulates that “a person commits a summary offence if he or she commits an assault occasioning actual bodily
harm”.

The Commission henceforth will submit its full report to the Fiji Police Force and lodge a formal complaint of assault causing actual bodily harm pursuant to section 275 of the Crimes Act and the use of excessive force in circumstances of the arrest pursuant to section 10(3) of the Criminal Procedure Act.

Furthermore, Section 39 and 40 of the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission Act entitles victims of human rights violations to seek remedies for the interdiction of his or her constitutional rights and in this instance, the victim has given his expressed consent to the Commission to institute appropriate
proceedings on his behalf.

The Commission calls on the Fiji Police Force to hold these officers to account and send a very clear message to everyone that no one is above the law.

Fijisun E-edition
Tanoa Waterfront Lautoka Fiji
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: