19 Nov 2002

Fiji Opposition leader calls for tougher sentences for rape

6:10 pm on 19 November 2002

Fiji's Opposition leader, Mick Beddoes, has called for long, deterrent sentences for convicted rapists.

His call comes amid increasing reports of brutal rapes, including those of daughters by their fathers, which Mr Beddoes says is reflective of crime out of control.

Mr Beddoes says such people should have a mandatory sentence of between 30 years without parole and life with a public flogging.

Mr Beddoes says people who indulge in such crimes must understand the risks and do the time.

He says rapists, paedophiles, and incest offenders should be removed from society to an uninhabited island for a prison.

The Opposition leader says current deterrents are minimal and unless the authorities get serious, criminals will continue to ignore the police and do as they please.

Fiji's Attorney General, Qoriniasi Bale, says he agrees with harsh sentences for such convicts but says the current maximum sentence of ten years is appropriate for the country.