Friday, February 25, 2011

Amnesty International Condemns Brutal Beatings in Fiji

Amnesty International Public Statement
For immediate release

25 February 2011

Fiji: Arbitrary detentions and beatings must stop

The severe beating, amounting to torture, of a government critic and the reported detention and beating of several trade unionists and politicians in the last week indicate that the human rights situation in Fiji is worsening, Amnesty International said today.
The military detained politician Sam Speight at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks outside of Suva, the capital, on 21 February. They repeatedly beat him until he lost consciousness. He was released on 24 February. Speight was a cabinet minister in the deposed government of Laisenia Qarase.
The military continually denied knowledge of Speight’s whereabouts to his wife and other family members during his three day detention.
Speight has since gone to Australia to receive urgently needed medical attention.
Human rights activists who visited the military barracks to obtain more information on Speight during his detention said that the military threatened them and warned them to keep quiet or they themselves would be beaten.
Speight’s detention and torture followed the recent arrest of a number of trade unionists and politicians who were also threatened and beaten by military officers at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks. Those who were beaten up include trade unionists Felix Anthony and Maika Namudu and two politicians. They have subsequently been released, but there are continuing fears for their safety.
Amnesty International is gravely concerned for the safety of activists and government critics as another crackdown begins in the country.
The government continues to use the Public Emergency Regulations (PER) as a tool of repression. The PER was enacted in April 2009 in the wake of the government’s abrogation of the Constitution, and greatly restricts freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. Ongoing censorship of the media and threats, intimidation and attacks against government critics continue to evoke a climate of fear in Fiji.
Amnesty International calls on the Fiji government to:
•Immediately stop the arbitrary detention, torture and other ill-treatment of critics and activists;
•Immediately initiate an independent impartial investigation into the arbitrary detention, torture and other ill-treatment of Sam Speight and others, and ensure that those military officers suspected of involvement in these acts, irrespective of rank, are brought to justice;
•Immediately suspend the Public Emergency Regulations;
•End the censorship of the media;
•Ensure that freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly are respected.

Fijian regime cracking down on opponents: Amnesty

25 February 2011 

The human rights organisation, Amnesty International, says Fiji is cracking down on opponents of the interim military regime, possibly in response to the recent anti-government uprisings across the Middle East.

The New Zealand branch of Amnesty said a former politician, Samisoni Speight Tikonisau, was severely beaten by military officers in Fiji before he fled to Brisbane in Australia.

Amnesty International's New Zealand CEO, Patrick Holmes, told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat program that the assault on Mr Tikonisau is one of many against activists in Fiji in recent weeks.

"There are a number of beatings going on and they are going on over a prolonged period of time ... It's just an extension of the intimidation and bully boy tactics that we've seen for so long from this government and it seems to have been ramped up ... and I guess it's anybody's guess whether this is in any way linked to what's going on in the Middle East," he said.

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1 comment:

Waraka Namaka said...

When the Fiji people would see for themselves the real picture of a dictator type of leadership in its worst level than I think they would then wake up...qo sa bera..Ni sa na kanakana vinaka mai na milioni sa qai va wakana mai na kocokoco..oni na qai raica...

Na democracy eda nanuma tiko me na yaco e na sega vakadua ni ratou vakatara..ratou na tukununa lo tiko .."oi, me keitou vesu"

Rawa ga ni dua tale na mataqali democracy..oya me ratou lewa chiko dri yani.