11 Mar 2013

UN condemns Fiji 'torture' video

9:18 pm on 11 March 2013

The United Nations has condemned an online video that appears to show two men in Fiji being tortured by officials.

It is calling on the military regime to bring the attackers to justice and says Fiji's government must launch an impartial investigation into the video, AFP reports.

The graphic footage posted on YouTube shows a handcuffed man being savagely beaten with batons and metal bars, and another being set upon by a dog, encouraged by its handler.

The police in Fiji are reported to have identified the attackers as security personnel, while Amnesty International says it suspects the footage shows prison escapees being abused.

Fiji's leader Commodore Frank Bainimarama has said the officers implicated in the video were just doing their duty, and he will stand by them.

In a statement released on Monday, a spokesperson for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said: "We are shocked by the content of a video which has emerged over the past few days on social networks and the internet showing the apparent torture and inhuman and degrading treatment of two handcuffed men.

"While the circumstances surrounding the video have not yet been ascertained, the acts being carried out in it are clearly illegal, and we condemn them in the strongest terms."