14 Dec 2006

UN seeks verification of claims of abuse and torture of riot suspects in Tonga

5:27 pm on 14 December 2006

The Government of Tonga has received a request from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights seeking verification of the allegations made in the Tonga National Centre for Women and Children's Report.

The report alleges there was systematic torture of suspects by soldiers and police following the November 16th riot.

Radio Tonga reports that the Government is currently preparing its response.

A spokesperson, Lopeti Senituli, says the Government doesn't condone any form of torture or the physical abuse of suspects.

The radio station quotes Mr Senituli saying the military and police commanders are constantly reminding their personnel to treat detainees with respect.

He says anyone caught violating that commitment will be charged.