Monday, May 23, 2011

Amnesty Warns Fiji Military Personnel Guilty of Torture Risk Prosecution

Australia Network News - 23 May 2011 

Amnesty International says Fiji military personnel, who may have been involved in ill-treatment of civilians, risk prosecution when the country's current interim regime ends.

The warning follows confirmation from a former senior Fiji military officer, Lieutenant Colonel Ratu Tevita Mara, that torture has been used on people taken to the barracks in Suva.

The CEO for Amnesty New Zealand, Patrick Holmes, told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat there are long standing reports of physical mistreatment of civilians by soldiers, and Ratu Tevita's statement appears to confirm them.

He says soldiers may use the defence that they were obeying orders but that this was no defence in court.

"The officers within the Fijian Army, and it may well be a very small group who are perpetrating these abuses, need to start looking over their shoulders because all despot regimes fail eventually ... and then there will be a day of reckoning and they will be accountable to the law," Mr Holmes said.

No comments: