18 Sep 2002

Fiji Labour Party blames police commissioner for problems in force

5:32 pm on 18 September 2002

Fiji's Labour Party is blaming a lack of leadership by the Police Commissioner, Isikia Savua, for a spate of alleged beatings by police.

Labour's administration officer, John Ali, says he will formally ask the acting commissioner to suspend the four police involved in the latest incident after two brothers claimed they were brutally beaten at Valelevu station on the weekend.

Mr Ali says under Mr Savua's leadership, the police force has lost morale and some officers believe they can do what they want.

"They feel that they can do anything and get away with it. That reflects on the leadership of the police, and we have been asking for the removal of the Commissioner, Mr Savua and surely the police force here in Fiji under the leadership of the new Commissioner, whoever he'll be, will certainly be able to do better."

The Human Rights Commission says there have been at least 15 incidents of alleged police brutality this year.