Fiji songwriter Josefa Bilitaki ‘punched, slapped’ after sending angry text message to PM Frank Bainimarama

Posted about 11 hours agoFri 3 Oct 2014, 6:58pm

A Fiji songwriter says he was punched and slapped by an army officer after sending a drunken, abusive text message to prime minister Frank Bainimarama.

Josefa Bilitaki sent an angry text message to the Prime Minister’s phone last Friday, in a row over what he said was the unauthorised use of his songs during the recent election campaign.

Later that night a police officer and four soldiers turned up at his house and bundled him into a car, he alleged.

In a statement Mr Bilitaki, 60, said they took him to another location where one of the soldiers punched and slapped him in the face and mouth, bashed his head against a windscreen, and threatened to kill him.

He said he was then thrown into a cell at a police station but was taken to a hospital the next day and treated for high blood pressure.

On Wednesday, Mr Bilitaki’s daughter said her father had some bruises and a cut lip.

Earlier this week, Fiji’s police commissioner Ben Groenewald released a statement saying the incident was being investigated.

He said a “task team” visited Mr Bilitaki and took him to a police station for the “alleged offence of annoyance”.

“The allegation of assault against Mr Bilitaki is void of all truth,” he said in the statement.

“I am urging people not to jump to conclusions [based] on what they read on social media.

“The case is under investigation and will be submitted to the Office of Director Public Prosecution once completed.”

Amnesty International has condemned the incident, saying Fiji needs to show it is taking human rights issues seriously.

5 thoughts on “

  1. AI should focus on more serious cases of death and abuse in USA, Cuba, Syria and middle east.

    Please do not poke you nose into Fiji’s affairs. This is just a storm in a tea cup.

    And remember that no head master is above the law.

  2. Adi Torika. Isn’t that hypocrisy? Are you saying that only Bai is above the law and no one else? Of all people, your hero Voreqe should know better. Being the self imposed PM for many years has not even educated him with the basics of leadership/ He should live by example. What if Bilitaki was your father, would you still condone what Voreqe and the soldiers did? Where is the equal citizenship that FFP was preaching about? Where is the Fiji for all Fijians gone to? Were those real or simply empty slogans to deceive the people? But thank for your comment. You just confirmed what we have known all along.

  3. the Police Commissioner is now caught in his lies and Bainimarama is still a vindictive man and a loose cannon. shame, shame and double shame to them.

  4. @Tomasi 4:33 PM

    What you must also remember is the trash that actually do the assaults. This trash may have been in the military or police well before Voreqe came into power.

    And where does this trash come from?

    Yes you guessed right, they are simply an indicative sample of the mentality of a portion of Fijian society.

  5. @Anon 4.33pm. Yes that is true and a very serious concern that must be addressed. But who will address that but our elected Government. This is why the PM and our MPs are chosen and paid to do. We cannot allow this problem to continue, for it will only get worse if not effectively addressed. Vinaka.

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