4 Sep 2003

Fiji villager claims to have been tortured by army and police

10:17 am on 4 September 2003

A Fijian villager who claims he was tortured by soldiers and police during the 2000 coup is claiming damages.

The Fiji Times reports that Taito Navualaba of Naitasiri province has filed claims against the military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, and the police commissioner.

Mr Navualaba said he was taken to Wainavau army camp on August 24th 2000, where he was interrogated and tortured for almost 24 hours.

His lawyer, Sevuloni Valenitabua, claims his client was forced to eat horse manure and had to lie with a police dog at the back of a vehicle.

In his writ of damages, Mr Navualaba claims he was beaten with steel rods and a piece of timber on the legs and the soles of both feet.

The torture included kicks and punches, having hot water poured over him and being forced to dive on a dry river bed full of stones.