26 Feb 2007

Fiji mother calls for action over son's death following military beating

4:20 pm on 26 February 2007

There is a further call for the Fiji military to end its practice of beatings after a youth died in Nadi following a beating at a military area.

Alanieta Rabaka says her 19 year old son, Sakiusa, and two of his friends were picked up from outside her house late last month by a military van containing 7 military officers and a police officer.

She says police informed her that he was suspected of using marijuana, but instead of being taken to the police station and questioned, he and the two others were taken to the camp where they were kicked in the head and kidneys and forced to crawl along the ground.

Mrs Rabaka says it was cowardly of the military to behave in the way it did.

She says her son, who was fit and healthy, blacked out, had fits and was taken to hospital where he had surgery but died on the weekend.

Mrs Rabaka says she laid a complaint with the police and the military but has heard nothing since.

"Actually I would like the beatings stopped. They are targetting our youths and if any of them should do that, I would definitely like them to be removed from the army."

The army spokesman could not be contacted for comment but the police have released a statement saying the case is currently under investigation.