13 Dec 2006

Regional Police Community suspends Fiji membership

6:06 pm on 13 December 2006

The Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police says it cannot recognise the Fiji police force as a lawful entity in its current form.

The PICP has taken the unprecedented step to suspend Fiji's membership after an urgent ballot among its 21 members.

The chairman of the regional police organisation, Hazime Telei of Palau, says the suspension is pending the restoration of the rule of law.

The PICP expresses strong concern at the intimidation shown against the Police Commissioner, and his senior staff, and the unlawful detention of the acting commissioner and assistant commissioner, which subsequently forced their resignations.

Mr Telei says because of the military's takeover, the Fiji Police Force will be excluded from training and any assistance provided by the PICP...

"We're just showing to that department which is run by the military that you're not one of us now, not the way you are running the police department there. It's that simple. We're not going to recognise that as one of the police departments in the Pacific Islands."

Hazime Telei of the PICP.