NEWS

Family Of Man In Remand Not Notified Till He Died: Raj

The Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission wants to know why the arrest and detainment of Jone Masirewa was not made known to his family until his death.
18 Apr 2020 09:54
Family Of Man In Remand Not Notified Till He Died: Raj
Director of Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission, Ashwin Raj

The Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission wants to know why the arrest and detainment of Jone Masirewa was not made known to his family until his death.

Masirewa died at the remand centre at the Natabua Prison in Lautoka last week.

His death is being investigated by the Commission.

Commissioner Ashwin Raj said the allegation made by Masirewa’s family, that they were not informed of the reason for his arrest and detainment until the day he died, is disconcerting and constitutes an interdiction of his rights as an arrested and detained person pursuant to section 13 of the Fijian Constitution.

“This is a matter that the Commission is currently investigating,” he said.

Mr Raj said the Fiji Corrections Service had informed the Commission that with COVID-19, there could be no visitations to any of the prisons.

He said therefore, the Commission wrote to the Fiji Corrections Service on April 14, 2020, enquiring about the circumstance of Masirewa’s death.

“The Commission is awaiting a response from the Fiji Corrections Service to its queries,” Mr Raj.

“The suspension of visitation rights in places of detention such as prisons and Police stations in the context of COVID-19, places an important obligation on authorities with the power to arrest and detain to conduct themselves within the confines of the rule of law and in adherence to human rights because those in conditions of incarceration are vulnerable in such times.”

Feedback: shalveen.chand@fijisun.com.fj



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