13 Mar 2013

Concern for power snags Fiji PM's response to torture, says analyst

2:40 pm on 13 March 2013

An intelligence and policy analyst says the Prime Minister of Fiji is torn between condemning torture and supporting the institutions he needs in order to keep power.

Dr Paul Buchanan of the geopolitics and strategic assessments website 36th-parallel.com says the reason for the government's lack of response to the Fiji torture video is because Frank Bainimarama is caught between a rock and a hard place.

He says the regime may have done enough by sacking members of the corrections service who were implicated in the brutality video.

"On the one hand he has to project the image of a Fijian state adhering to the rule of law. Civilised countries behave according to the law, they do not behave as thugs. On the other hand, in order to ensure that the military will be the ultimate arbiter down the road once the civilian authority is installed, he needs the support of the security apparatus."

Dr Paul Buchanan says despite the assurances of democratic elections next year, it is clear that the Fiji military will have some role to play in the future governing of the country.