So much for policing………More crime, more arrests and more in jail.

Police to address issues

Felix Chaudhary Monday, November 19, 2012

THE Fiji Police Force is awaiting the outcome of an investigation into the breakout by three remand prisoners from the Nadi Police Station last Tuesday.

Fiji Police Force’s Chief of Operations Assistant Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu said there were a number of concerns and issues that needed to be addressed including laxity by police officers, security at police stations and overcrowding of remand cells at corrections centres in the country.

ACP Tudravu described the incident as “embarrassing” and warned that if officers were found to be complacent in the execution of their duties, then they would be taken to task.

He also highlighted that police resources were being stretched with the increasing number of people being detained or taken into custody.

“There is an increase in the number of persons being taken into police custody and there has also been an increase in those being remanded by the courts.

“We hope that the completion of the new remand cell at Suva will assist us in addressing this issue.”

ACP Tudravu said while the increasing number of inmates and detainees was an issue, the onus was on officers on duty to ensure the safety and security of inmates at police stations.

Meanwhile police continue to hunt for the escapees continues.

…………………………………………………………………

Police face shortages

Fiji Times-1 hour ago
A SURGE in crime and the ensuing increase in the number of reports being filed has led to a shortage of stationery and administrative material at police stations

More Police and Military abuse of prisoners……Aseri Vakaloloma says he believes his client has been denied a medical examination because the police are the subject of the complaint.

Fiji lawyer says client kicked and scalded by police

Posted at 05:32 on 13 November, 2012 UTC

The lawyer representing a man who is alleged to have been part of a bank robbery in Fiji says his client was assaulted by police during his arrest in September but still hasn’t been granted a medical examination.

The man is accused of being involved with five prison escapees who police believe committed the robbery.

At least four of the five escapees were hospitalised, including one who had to have his leg amputated after being captured in a joint operation by police and soldiers.

The lawyer, Aseri Vakaloloma, says his client was kicked by police when he was arrested at his home and has complained that he has been scalded with hot water.

“I think it’s only proper if he is in pain that he should be taken to the hospital because he needs medical treatment but unfortunately the court has granted him that but he is in custody at the moment and then he’s not been taken to the hospital.”

Aseri Vakaloloma says he believes his client has been denied a medical examination because the police are the subject of the complaint.

News Content © Radio New Zealand International           PO Box 123, Wellington, New Zealand

Another breach of Human Rights in Fiji …….52 Prisoners beaten by 7 prison officers.

Sodomised inmate admitted in hospital

07:02 Today

 

Taken from/By: FBC News Report by: Mika Loga

A 25-year-old inmate is recovering at the Intensive Care Unit of the Colonial War Memorial Hospital after he was allegedly attacked by two other inmates.

The alleged incident occurred at the Korovou Corrections Centre last Saturday.

The inmates mother Hazra Bibi was unaware that her son was in hospital until she received a call from a nurse on Tuesday.

FBC News was reliably told that two inmates allegedly sodomized Bibi’s son who suffered severe injuries to his body.

Bibi has been trying to get answers about what exactly happened to her son.

She says her son underwent an operation and claims officials at the Corrections Centre did not tell her anything about her son.

The attack allegedly took place in the Yasi Dormitory at the Korovou Corrections Centre last weekend.

Seven prison officers allegedly physically disciplined 52 inmates in the dorm when they refused to disclose details of the attack.

Two inmates suspected of the alleged attack have been transferred to the Maximum Security Corrections Centre in Naboro.

Bibi says, she will lodge an official complaint to the Corrections Commissioner’s Office.

Last Saturday’s incident at the Korovou Corrections Centre brings to light yet again issues related to the human rights of prisoners.

Fiji Corrections Service spokesperson Ana Tamani-Tudrau says they’re conducting their own investigations and have also referred the matter to the police.

The more I learn about these rascals, the more I suspect that I’ve been a victim of their black ops.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Who/what is Qorvis Communications?

Fiji’s endangered duty free status in the U.S. has apparently upped the stakes in the interim government’s high-priced PR campaign, with Courfourpointfive reporting that the monthly stipend paid to Washington-based spin doctors Qorvis Communications for services rendered has soared from US$40,000 to US$150,000 per month. It might thus be appropriate to look at the kinds of services Qorvis renders. The more I learn about these rascals, the more I suspect that I’ve been a victim of their black ops.
Human rights advocate Thor Halvorssen chronicled for the Huffington Post last year the types of activitiesQorvis engages in on behalf of governments in the Middle East. Much of it involves social media such as Facebook, blogs, and Twitter. According to Halvorssen, Qorvis uses phony social media accounts to conduct smear campaigns against critics of repressive regimes. “Most of the U.S.-based fake tweeting, fake blogging (flogging), and online manipulation is carried out from inside Qorvis Communication’s ‘Geo-Political Solutions’ division,” noted Halvorssen. “The effort is mechanical and centrally organized.”

More so than intimidation, violence, and disappearances, the most important tool for dictatorships across the world is the discrediting of critics. . . . Oppressive governments are threatened by public exposure, and this means that it’s not just human rights defenders but also bloggers, opinion journalists, and civil society activists who are regularly and viciously maligned

The American Independent detailed some of Qorvis’ efforts in promoting Fiji, noting that it is “deeply involved in managing the online and social media activities” of the government. Its cyberpromotion includes websites, blogs, and Twitter feeds, according to disclosures required to be made by Qorvis under the U.S. Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA).

“WHOIS” lookups of domain name registration information reveal that “ecofiji.org,” “empowerfiji.org,” “travelfijitoday.org,” “investfiji.org,” and “fijigrowth.org” were registered by Qorvis employees, although the sites offer no disclosure of Qorvis’ involvement. The FARA filing also listed three Twitter accounts — @FijiPM, @FijiAG and @FijiRepublic — under “activities conducted by registrant.”

The latest targets of such social media messages have been in the U.S. as a result of recent hearings held to decide on revoking Fiji’s free trade status after protests by trade union groups. Fiji’s Qorvis-linked Twitter accounts, according to the American Independent, have “played an active role in promoting pro-government news articles, often published by the government owned Fiji Broadcasting Corporation.”

The tweets, like many of those issued by accounts linked to Qorvis, frequently target their messages to Twitter accounts affiliated with the U.S. State Department and the United Nations, both institutions which have been critical of Fiji’s military coup government. . . . Qorvis’ management of such accounts, without disclosing their involvement on the Twitter accounts or websites, would fit with the consultancy’s history of being less than transparent in the work done on behalf of foreign clients.

The FARA disclosure shows that Qorvis has provided “fact sheets” to various parties, including Australian blogger Grubby Davis. It has also been successful in getting pro-Fiji news stories published by the overseas press. It arranged a visit to Fiji by reporter Ginanne Brownell of fDi Magazine,  which is owned by The Financial Times Ltd and edited in London. That resulted in such stories as “Promise of democracy opens up investment opportunities in Fiji,” and “Fiji PM looks to forge a central role within south Pacific.”
Project PM, which describes itself as “an autonomous online entity” that uses the internet to promote positive change, keeps close tabs on black ops spin doctors such as Qorvis. Its cyber sleuthing has found that Qorvis regularly edits Wikipedia pagesto make its clients look better. “QORVIS has its own long history of edits at the site,” notes Project PM. “There is a lengthy page of Wikipedia edits for an unnamed user with the IP 38.100.14.250.”

The IP [address] belongs to gw20.qorvisnet.com. User 38.100.14.250 was not alone. Another 3 named accounts made their way around the same pages all of which appear to have a connection to QORVIS as clients or staff. As this appears to have a degree of co-ordination behind it, it backs up accounts of online manipulation or ‘black arts’ from the Geo-Political Solutions division of QORVIS.

One of the Wikipedia pagesthat Qorvis has doctored, according to Project PM, is that of Fiji’s Interim Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, which its editing history shows to have been altered by a particularly busy person who goes by the handle of “Ratfinx.”

The officers were in fact commended for their gallant action.

Red Ribbon

A few years ago the current Commissioner of Police launched the infamous yellow ribbon project for the rehabilitation of prisoners. So much so that about a dozen correction officers lost their jobs for minor assaults on prisoners during his term.

This time around five prisoners suffered extensive injuries, with one losing a leg, at the hands of his officers using reasonable force. The officers were in fact commended for their gallant action.

Under normal circumstances such injuries suffered at the hands of arresting officers warrants an investigation. The onus is on the Commissioner to satisfy himself that the action of his men was reasonable if not illegal. He needs to allay the suspicion and the fears of the public on the integrity of our justice system.

For the police Operations Officer to blatantly declare that “having one of his leg amputated does not mean an investigation should be carried out to those who were involved in his recapture” is abrasive evasive and discourteous to the relatives of the victims.

The yellow ribbon in correction terminology appears to have metamorphosed into red ribbon in police discourse.

 

Ratu Vore

Fiji Prisoner has leg amputated by after “resisting arrest”…..

Fiji escapee had leg amputated because of injuries inflicted by soldiers The shameful truth at last – one of the Naboro prisoners has had his leg amputated as touted by bloggers on this forum weeks ago because of injuries inflicted by soldiers during his recapture.

Bloggers said the prisoner was being kept away from public eyes because he’d lost his leg during the messy recapture.

It was also suggested the last prisoner to be caught, Isoa Waqa, had died after being beaten – a report Fiji police rejected as rumours with the threat they would charge those spreading them.

But today the Magistrates Court was told Epeli Qaraniqio has indeed had his right leg amputated for injuries ‘allegedly’ sustained during the recapture and cannot appear in court for another fortnight.

Qaraniqio was to have fronted more than a week ago with the other escapees but did not. Police again today failed to bring him to court with the  Director of Public Prosecutions lawyer, Lisiate Fotofili, telling Magistrate Janaka Bandara it will be two weeks before Qaraniqio can take the stand.

While presenting a medical report, Fotofili told the court the dressing on Qaraniqio’s leg was only removed on Friday.

There has been no official report until now about the prisoner being forced to have his leg  amputated. Fiji media at the time ignored reports of an amputation, following instead the official line the escapees were still ‘under medical treatment.’

Qaraniqio is said to be recovering at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital where he and the other escapees were taken after being beaten by soldiers.

All of the prisoners were kept away from general medical staff and were seen and tended only by RFMF medics.

Fiji has been divided on the violence meted out by RFMF soldiers and police in the recapture of the escapees, after they managed to elude them for some time after their break out.

Many have insisted the escapees deserved being assaulted by soldiers because they’re criminals.

We say today’s official confirmation a prisoner had to have his leg amputated because of injuries sustained at the hands of soldiers is proof the regime and those carrying out its orders cannot be trusted to uphold the law and to protect citizens.

Ratu Vore
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Naivalurua mum on injured prisoners

07:03 Today

Taken from/By: FBC News Report by: Mika Loga

Police Commissioner Brigadier Iowane Naivalurua is mum on the details of investigations in relation to the alleged assault of the five inmates who escaped from the Naboro Medium Corrections Centre last month.

They were admitted at the CWM hospital for injuries they suffered from their recapture.

They were hospitalized for about a week.

Some had their limbs plastered and needed help walking while one was on crutches they appeared in the Suva Magistrates Court.

They also had bruises to the face and limbs.

The fifth inmate is still in hospital.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

Police quiet on leg amputation of recaptured prisoner
Publish date/time: 23/10/2012 [13:03]

Police said they will not comment on the leg amputation of a recaptured prisoner, Epeli Qaraniqio until they see the medical report.
When asked by Fijivillage, Assistant Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu said nothing will be said for now as Qaraniqio is still in hospital.
He said investigations into the recapture of the five prisoners late last month is still underway but he cannot say anything further.     DPP lawyer Lisiate Fotofili has confirmed in the Suva Magistrates Court that Epeli Qaraniqio cannot attend court as his right leg has been amputated from an open wound.
Fotofili has asked for a two week adjournment.
The case will be called again before Chief Magistrate Usaia Ratuvili on the 5th of next month.
Qaraniqio is co-charged with Isoa Waqa and Solomoni Qurai in relation to the BSP and Wishbone robberies after the prison breakout.
Story by: Vijay Narayan & Tokasa Rainima

Police blame “miscommunication on their part ” for raid on PAFCO

FIJI NEWS

Police regrets action in FTUC, PAFCO meet

October 20, 2012 06:13:30 PM

 http://www.fijilive.com/news/2012/10/police-regrets-action-in-ftuc-pafco-meet/48359.Fijilive

Fiji’s Police Force today admitted it was miscommunication on their part that saw some of their officers in Levuka stopped a meeting between Fiji Trades Union Congress officials and executives of PAFCO yesterday.
Police chief operations officer ACP Rusiate Tudravu in a statement expressed the authority’s regrets for any inconvenience caused.
“Our officers in Levuka acted on a report lodged in Suva regarding the meeting,” Tudravu said.
“Following consultations with the Commissioner of Police we instructed our officers to allow the meeting to continue as the case had nothing to do with the meeting that was being held”.
Tudravu said the meeting continued shortly after.
Police’s statement stem from calls by disappointed FTUC officials seeking an explanation on the legitimacy of the officers’ behavior.
In a statement, FTUC national secretary Felix Anthony said the meeting at the PAFCO Board Room yesterday “began at 10:15 am and at 11:15 am police officers marched in, disrupted the meeting and said they were under orders from Suva to stop the discussions.”
“We were then informed that the meeting would only continue provided the Police Officers were present during the discussions between the CEO PAFCO, Human Resource Manager and Line Managers, PAFCO Employees Union Executives and FTUC Executives.
Among those present at the meeting were FTUC president, Daniel Urai, Anthony, PAFCO CEO Bhan Singh, HR Manager Etueni Caucau, and PAFCO Employees Union executives.
Anthony said the FTUC was meeting with PAFCO management to discuss issues faced by workers in the fish canning factory which were brought to light during one of their recent meetings with workers of PAFCO in September this year.
By Lavenia Vuadreu

Only in Fiji ..”Thank you for breaching the human rights of our escaped prisoners”

Officers thanked for recapture mission

13:01 Today

 

Taken from/By: FBC News Report by: Apisalome Coka

Police Commissioner, Brigadier General Ioane Naivalurua has commended officers for the recapture of five escapees from Naboro Prison.

Brigadier Naivalurua addressed the officers at his 3rd quarter parade at Suva’s foreshore this morning.

“I would also like to pay a special mention to those of us who worked hard especially the recapture mission, I acknowledge your hard work this morning and thank you. You did a great job in the recapture of the unscrupulous people that terrorised Suva in the period of 7 days, so well done and keep up the good work.”

Four of the inmates have been charged while the 5th is still admitted at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva.

Corrupt Police shouldbe first target of FICAC……….watch it all vanish without a trace.

Commissioner directs investigation into missing files

Publish date/time: 17/10/2012 [15:15]

A directive has been issued by the Commissioner of Police to carry out an investigation in relation to a case which was discharged by the Suva Magistrates Court due to the Police Prosecution’s failure to produce disclosures as the particular file was missing.

Chief Operations Officer ACP Rusiate Tudravu said the force is disappointed with the outcome of the case and is heading a team to conduct an audit of what happened and why the files were missing in the first place.

Tudravu confirmed that the investigation will not only cover this particular case but the investigation is also being carried out on other cases in the past which have been discharged due to similar circumstances.

He added that after the investigation, they will decide on the next cause of action.

Tudravu said they cannot afford to turn up to court without files as the prosecution stage determines the final outcome of a successful investigation.

Story by: Praneeta Prakash

Police service crippled by no vehicle……..

Police operations in Levuka crippled

07:03 Today

Levuka TownTaken from/By: FBC News Report by: Apisalome Coka

Police operations in Levuka isn’t at it’s best as they are not fully equipped.

Lomaiviti Provincial Administrator Kelepi Kubunameca told FBC News, Police on the island have been without a vehicle since last year.

“Our service is crippled as there is no vehicle allocated for the public department, but I thank various head of departments in Levuka who are assisting the Police Department, with whatever vehicle that they have.”

Police spokesperson Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri says a brand new vehicle was given to the Levuka Police last year but they damaged it.

According to Sokomuri, Police Commissioner Brigadier General Ioane Naivalurua has directed that all cases must be attended to and not having a vehicle should not be used as an excuse.

The condemning public might think more about the message and not shoot the messenger

Letter to the Editor (Fiji Times and Fiji Sun)

Professor Wadan Narsey

Violence against escaped prisoners

Many letters have been written to the Editor, attacking Shamima Ali’s call for the protection of the human rights of prisoners, while the police have also responded defending their actions.

It is understandable for decent law-abiding citizens to not care how prisoners are treated.    We all know of innocent people who have been robbed, physically and mentally traumatized, by criminal elements, without any compensation, or contrition from criminals.

Neither is there much compensation or thought for officers who are injured in the call of duty, while trying to apprehend escaped criminals.

Even though it is hard to define what constitutes “reasonable force” the police (and the army) also need to ensure that apprehending officers do not take the law into their own hands, by becoming prosecutors, judge and jury.

We sympathise with the Police Force who come under huge pressure whenever prisoners escape, when we all know that it is society which ultimately creates the criminals and the crimes, which we then demand the Police Force deal with.

But a just society has to ensure that escaped prisoners, however badly they may have treated society, are also given a fair trial by our judiciary, and suitably punished if they are found guilty,  but according to law.

Prisoners also have human rights and they also have loved ones, who are often filled with despair and shame at the crimes that their family members commit.

The Police Commissioner and the Commander of the Military Forces would be protecting  the integrity and humanity of their own forces if they conveyed a strong message to their apprehending officers: please do not lose control of your emotions, do not take the law into your own hands, when apprehending escaped prisoners.  Leave that to the courts.

The condemning public might think more about the message and not shoot the messenger, Shamima Ali, who has been a brave Commissioner for Human Rights of all people in Fiji, prisoners or otherwise.

However much pain escaped prisoners may cause us (and they surely do), for us deny their human rights to justice according to the Fiji laws, is to become inhuman ourselves.

http://narseyonfiji.wordpress.com/

From the “Only in Fiji file”. Police not taking complaints now to be bypassed….when they should be fired…. Senior Officers to waste their time on the phone handling the job of their nonperforming junior officers….

Senior police officers available 24/7

October 4, 2012 | Filed under: Fiji News | Posted by:

By MERE NALEBA

Senior police officers in all stations around Nadi are now providing their contact details for the public at large to call if they cannot get through to any police station or post when trying to report a crime.
This is an effort to reduce the number of complaints.
The Nadi Police station was the first to do so after the Fiji Police Force had earlier published all its senior management’s phone contacts in the media. Station Officer in charge, Assistant Superintendent of Police Simione Bale said this was a way to curb the increasing number of complaints against police officers.
“I admit that there are a lot of complaints against the Service in the Nadi area, which is mainly because of poor service delivery, whereby police officers cannot be contacted on time or for feedbacks. There are times when we have fallen short of delivering to the standards of the organisation and members of the public,” ASP Bale said.
He said things would now change after senior police officers published their mobile numbers to help members of the public report a crime or suspicious activity.
Police Commissioner Brigadier – General Ioane Naivalurua said police officers, as professionals providing a service should be approachable, contactable and reachable at all hours of the day.
The mobile phone numbers are –
• ASP Simione Bale – Officer in Charge Nadi – 9905599
• IP Apete Rokolui – Station officer Nadi – 9905436
• Sgt Abdul Roneel – Station Sergeant Nadi – 9904560
• Sgt Sanaila Rogora – Welfare Officer Nadi – 8726420
• IP Maciu Vava – Crime Officer Nadi – 9904267
• Sgt Mesake Varo – Traffic Officer Nadi – 9904767

Alleged assult? There were witnesses and he has spent a week in hospital………..but we will spin it as an alleged assault.

NZ national evacuated after alleged assault

http://www.fijivillage.com/?mod=story&id=03101201b076c6f048706ba7db8118

A New Zealand national who was injured after he was allegedly assaulted by four people at his room in a hotel in Nadi was evacuated to New Zealand last week.

Four people have already been charged and produced in court for their alleged involvement in relation to the NZ national and their alleged involvement in a series of robberies and break-ins in Nadi over the past few weeks.

Story by: Praneeta Prakash

Two injured prison escapees appear in court but the other three are still, after two weeks, unable to leave hospital. One, it is rumored, is in a coma from a severe beating.

Escapees in court

October 2, 2012 | Filed under: Fiji News | Posted by:

Josaia Usumaki and Tevita Sugu assisted by Police officers on their way to the Suva Magistrates Court yesterday. Photo: JONA KONATACI

By TALEBULA KATE

Two out of the five escapees that fled from the Naboro Medium facility two weeks ago appeared yesterday before Magistrate Janaka Bandara charged with resisting arrest and criminal intimidation.
Tevita Sugu and Josaia Usumaki appeared before Magistrate Bandara along with Rajeshwar Kishore Dutt, who is charged with aggravated robbery. The latter charge relates to the daylight robbery of the Bank South Pacific’s Samabula branch last month.
BSP have declined to disclose the amount of money stolen.
The three other escapees failed to appear yesterday as they are still medically unfit and further remanded into police custody.
State prosecutor Lisiate Fotofili informed Magistrate Bandara that Solomoni Qurai, Epeli Qaraniqio and Isoa Waqa were still unfit to attend court and needed more time to recover before appearing.
Sugu, with visible injuries, was taken to court with the support of police officers and Usumaki needed crutches to help with his walking.
Mr Fotofili requested if the accused could be remanded in custody and the matter transferred to the High Court because of its seriousness.
According to Mr Fotofili, charges against the accused had just been filed and no disclosures had been provided to the accused persons.

Corruption in the prison service run by a military officer……..

Contrabands find investigated

07:20 Today

 

 

Taken from/By:  Report by: Mika Loga

Investigations are underway at the Naboro and Korovou Correction Centres to establish how mobiles phones and other items bypassed the watchful eyes of corrections officers.

The investigations come after about a hundred mobile phones were found in the possession of inmates.

Other items found include mobile phone chargers, cigarette lighters, tobacco, sim cards, CD’s and packets of cigarettes.

FBC News has gathered from impeccable sources that the mobile phones and the items were carefully wrapped in plastic and hidden in the anal passage of inmates. The items were discovered after inmates were instructed to squat.

Corrections spokesperson Ana Tudrau says they are baffled as to how these items have landed in the hands of inmates given the tight security provided.

The sad thing about this is these contrabnds are brought in by visitors themselves. What people must understand is this does not help the situation at all becuase when we find contrabands on inmates – privileges are taken away from them.

This is not the first time security at the Correction Centers has been breached.

The CCF emphasised it was the role and responsibility of the Fiji Police Force to maintain law and order.

Remove coup immunity clause, says CCF

September 29, 2012 12:33:54

Fiji’s Citizens Constitutional Forum today asked the Constitution Commission to remove any immunity clause for coup perpetrators.
The CCF’s chief executive, Akuila Yabaki, made the submission to the Commission in Levuka today.
“Laws that give these bodies arbitrary powers should be revoked,” said Yabaki
He said the military should be bound by the sovereignty of Fiji’s constitution and accountable to civilian institutions such as the legislature.
“The size of the military should be of a scale appropriate to Fiji’s national security requirements and the recruitment and appointment of military personnel must be based on merit,” Yabaki said.
The CCF emphasised it was the role and responsibility of the Fiji Police Force to maintain law and order.
“There must be a clear separation of duties and responsibilities of the Police and the Military,” Yabaki said.
He said national security is the responsibility of the Police and the Military must only become involved through a defined constitutional process.
By Indrani Krishna

He warned that those responsible for spreading rumours or lies, when identified would be investigated and could be charged under the new Crimes Decree.

Escapees alive

September 29, 2012 | Filed under: Fiji News | Posted by:

By Maika Bolatiki

The Fiji Police Force has warned people spreading lies that a recaptured prison escapee had died at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital. Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Rusiate Tudravu said: “I want to assure the public that all the recaptured escapees are alive.” He urged members of the public not to spread lies and rumours about the recaptured escapees. “If you want to know the truth, you have to contact the Police.” ACP Tudravu said, as of yesterday, three of the recaptured escapees, Isoa Waqa, Solomoni Qurai and Epeli Qaraniqio were still in the hospital. He said the other two, Tevita Sugu and Josaia Usumate, were in Police custody,  He warned that those responsible for spreading rumours or lies, when identified would be investigated and could be charged under the new Crimes Decree.  ACP Tudravu said the Police had a timeline to work with and that is to present the escapees in court on Monday. “We’re working on this timeline and we’ll honour it.” Chief Magistrate Usaia Ratuvili has set October 1 for the escapees to appear in court. ACP Tudravu confirmed that they had started their interviews with the two in police custody. For the three in hospital, he said, they would be interviewed before they appeared in court on Monday. A lot has been claimed about the alleged brutal force used by the security forces during the capture of the escapees. Police have disputed any brutality and said force had to be used because the escapees resisted recapturing. Members of the joint security forces operation had also been injured.

Seeking confirmation on beaten tourist……..

Can anyone confirm a Tourist was attacked, by a group of men wielding cane knives, in his room in a Resort in Nadi last night. There is a severely beaten person in Lautoka Hospital but I have been unable to confirm he is the person concerned.

……………………………………………………………………………………

Updated and Confirmed………

NZ man hospitalised after hotel attack in Fiji

A New Zealand man is in intensive care in Fiji after intruders entered his Nadi hotel room on Thursday night.

Fijian authorities say the man is in a stable condition in Lautoka Hospital.

The Permanent Secretary for Tourism, Elizabeth Powell, says Fiji police have detained several people in relation to the attack.

She says a number of government agencies are helping the man and his family.

Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

Police abusing the Voter Registration Cards?

Peter,

On Tuesday morning at 5am a friend of mine was driving on the Queens Road on the Suva side of Navua when he was flagged down by a Police Officer.  The officer asked him to turn around and take him back to the Navua Police Station as he was heading to work. My friend who was also heading to work  tried to refuse.  The Police Officer then demanded to see his IDENTITY CARD. When asked what card he was told his VOTER CARD.  My friend did not have it on him so was ordered back to the Navua Police Station until he could be identified.

At the Police Station he was checked on a computer and told he could now leave to continue to Suva.

Since when did our Voter Card become an Identity Card that must be carried at all times?

Suliasi

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

UPDATE

I have asked a friend of mine who is a Police Officer and he believed the “free taxi ride story”  but he believes the PO would have asked for identification like a drivers license or his EVR.

No means of identification may have been used as an excuse for the officer to take him to the Police Station (where he wanted to go).

He assures me there is no official policy to use the EVR as an identity card but it is an appropriate and acceptable means of identification . He also raised the point that not everyone is registered so it cannot be an “identity card”

He says abusing his powers to get a free ride is the problem here not asking for identification.

Peter

Press release from UPP Leader Mick Beddoes

Statement No 22 September 28 2012

Subject: Beddoes says to Regime spokesperson Sharon-Jones Smith that attacking Shamima Ali does not absolve the authorities from its responsibility

STATEMENT

UPP Leader Mick Beddoes says it is Sharon Smith Johns is who is out of touch with reality, not Shamima Ali and attacking Shamima Ali for her statements on the issue of ‘excessive force’ does not absolve the authorities from its responsibilities in the matter.

Beddoes said in a statement today that ‘attacking Shamima Ali for her stated position on the excessive use of force on the escapees’ will not absolve the authorities of its responsibilities in the matter and it is Sharon Smith-Jones who is ‘out of touch’ with reality.

Beddoes said it is the Police and Prisons departments are responsible for keeping prisoners in jail, so it is the police and prisons who must take responsibility for the ‘escape’ and it the Police and Prisons department who are responsible for the recapturing the escapees.

If the Police had seen fit to abrogate its responsibility to the military, then they must explain to the people why they felt this was necessary?

What happened, how did they escape in the first place, which official authorized the level of force to be used in their recapture? Why was the military roped into what is essentially a police and prisons area of responsibility, these are the questions people are asking and these are the questions Sharon-Jones Smith needs to answer without distorting the ‘truth’ with deflective attacks on people like Shamima Ali.

Everyone citizen, despite his or her station in life, has a right to life, and must not be arbitrarily deprived of life, our 1997 constitution provides for this under the Bill of Rights and I do not expect the provisions in the planned new constitution to erode in any way the rights of our citizens.

Sec 25 (1) says, every citizen has the right to freedom from torture of any kind, whether physical, mental or emotional, and from cruel, inhumane, degrading or disproportionately severe treatment or punishment’ this includes prisoners or escaped prisoners.

Beddoes said he did not condone their alleged actions since escaping, and sympathizes with those people who have been traumatized by their alleged actions, but their actions do not justify the brutality meted out by the authorities in their recapture.

Beddoes said that as angry as one might be against the escapees, and the alleged violent actions they conducted, we cannot and must not forfeit our sense of humanity because they are human beings too and they have the same rights as the rest of us.

For the authorities to have had to resort to such excessive force to recapture the handful of escapees, even when the authorities would have had a huge advantage in terms of manpower, weapons and other resources at their disposal, compared to the relatively lightly armed escapees, says more about the authorities inability to deal with such situations despite their advantage, then it does about threat that the escapees really posed at the time of recapture?

If there is anyone in authority who is able to show leadership, responsibility and transparency in this matter, now’s a good time to step up and start telling us the ‘truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!

Authorized By Mick Beddoes