Fiji says it’s addressing brutality concerns
Updated at 8:37 am today
Senior judicial figures from Fiji have told a United Nations gathering the country is addressing concerns about police brutality.
Fiji is undergoing a review of its human rights record under the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review.
The Fiji delegation told a meeting of the Council in Geneva plans are underway for training police interrogators, videotaping their interviews with suspects and stricter procedures under a review of the Police Act next year.
The Chief Justice Anthony Gates says the problem is due to a cultural misconception.
“Torture during interrogation has been a long-standing problem in Fiji. Members of the police or prison service or others in authority have thought they had a right to impose an extra-judicial punishment on an arrested suspect or an escaped prisoner.”
Justice Gates says the judiciary is helping fund videotaping and interrogation training as courts waste much time having to resolve whether confessions have been given voluntarily.