31 Jul 2008

Fiji NGO calls for end to police brutality

4:19 pm on 31 July 2008

Fiji's non-governmental organisation, the Coalition on Human Rights, is calling for a stop to police brutality against prisoners or criminal suspects.

An escaped prisoner, who received serious head injuries while being re-captured,

is still in a critical condition in Suva's Colonial War Memorial Hospital.

The hospital says Jo Baleiloa is in a coma and on life support.

The Coalition's director, Virisila Buadromo, says police officers use excessive force too often.

"We're calling on the police to provide some sort of counselling to all the police, because it seems that the sort of violence they put on the escapee, it's not the first time that it happened. Just in the last 18 months following the coup in 2006 two people who have been in police custody have died as a result of severe beatings."

Virisila Buadromo says police should also start an immediate inquiry into the incident.