3 Jun 2011

Mara challenges Fiji soldiers over human rights abuses

1:35 pm on 3 June 2011

The former Fiji army officer who escaped to Tonga after being charged with sedition says soldiers need to think about the violent acts they're committing against the indigenous population.

Lieutenant Colonel Tevita Uluilakeba Mara earlier this week released another taped message on Youtube, this time alleging that his former military colleagues tortured people taken to the barracks.

He says Commodore Frank Bainimarama was one of the assailants and the soldiers need to reconsider supporting such criminality.

Don Wiseman has more:

"As in previous revelations Col Mara's Fiji language version was different from the one in English. In the more extended Fijian version he addressed soldiers and asked them if the emphasis on torture and other despicable acts against the indigenous population are right. He said the army used to belong to the people but is now being used by one individual for his own interests. He calls on two senior officers to consider whether they should remain in the army and warned that following blindly only leads to trouble and destruction. Col Mara said he's ready to answer for his role in the coup, and assured Commodore Bainimarama that he'll be taken to court for his actions and the decisions he's made against the people."