Fiji sedition lawyer's office ransacked
A Fiji lawyer who lodged an official complaint about alleged torture by security forces has had his offices ransacked in the latest in a series of intimidations towards him and colleagues.
A Fiji lawyer who lodged an official complaint about alleged torture by security forces has had his offices ransacked.
Aman Ravindra-Singh, who is defending a group of people on sedition charges, had his Lautoka offices broken into on Good Friday.
As well as ongoing intimidation towards him since last year, Mr Ravindra-Singh alleges his colleagues have been the subject of torture.
He told Johnny Blades about this latest disturbing episode at his office.
AMAN RAVINDRA-SINGH: The main entrance, the door was smashed in. That was the mode of entry into the office. And certain furniture was broken and also there was more glass smashed inside the office. The entire office was trashed. Doors were open and things were thrown about; certain files were ripped and files were scattered all over the place in the offices... in the reception area. It was a horrible sight. From the door onwards, the entire office was littered with files and legal documentations.
JOHNNY BLADES: So files have definitely been gone through, you're still considering what's actually missing?
AR-S: Well, the staff and I are auditing all that may be missing. We have compiled a list. Until I give that list to the police, I won't make it public yet. But I can confirm there are certain things missing from the office. And we are still going through files, we need to determine what has gone missing.
JB: Has this ever happened to you or your offices before?
AR-S: Well, this is in fact the second break-in in two months.
JB: Similar kind of stuff, ransacked the office, gone through files?
AR-S: Ah no. The first break-in was nothing similar to what has happened. First one was a very different sort of break-in, there was no forced entry and the CC-TV had been cut for ten minutes. And my laptop was stolen on that occasion.
JB: It's well known that you are representing dozens of people who are before the Fiji courts on sedition charges, and you have made complaints about harassment before, is that right?
AR-S: Yes that's right, those complaints have been made. And a certain amount of harassment continues to date. it's common knowledge that the security forces have been behind all forms of intimidation, harassment and torture in this country, and beatings. So it's not like there is going to be a sudden change as to who is behind all these unlawful activities. As I mentioned earlier and I've continued to say this in the last so many months, those responsible for the intimidation and harassment, beatings, brutality and torture, it all points to the same band of people, and those are the members of the security forces. There are no other groups in this country who conduct themselves, intimidating, harassing or torturing people.
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