12 Mar 2013

New Zealand urges Fiji regime to condemn torture

6:39 pm on 12 March 2013

The New Zealand parliament has unanimously approved a motion asking Fiji's interim government to condemn the torture of detainees.

This comes a week after a nine-minute video was posted online, showing the abuse and beating of two tied-up men by what the Fiji government calls Fijian security personnel.

Labour's foreign affairs spokesman, Phil Goff, introduced the motion.

"I move that this House condemn the beating and torture of detainees in Fiji, evidenced in the recent recording of the event, and call upon the interim government of Fiji to publicly condemn the use of torture, to hold to account those responsible."

Phil Goff says New Zealanders want to see Fiji re-join the Pacific community of nations as a country that practices democracy and respects the rights of its own people.

In his only comment to date, Fiji's prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, said he would stand by officers implicated in the video, arguing they were just doing their duty.

Police say they are investigating the beating, but have not said if any arrests have been made.