18 Nov 2014

Pattern of not investigating police violence in Fiji - Amnesty

3:27 pm on 18 November 2014

Amnesty International says Fiji authorities are showing a pattern of reluctance to thoroughly investigate accusations of police and military violence.

The Director of Public Prosecutions has found there is insufficient evidence to take further action on a claim by Joseva Bilitaki that four military intelligence officers abused and threatened to kill him.

The former teacher and song writer was arrested and then held overnight in a police cell for allegedly sending annoying text messages to the Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama.

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Photo: RNZ

Amnesty's Pacific researcher, Kate Schuetze, says there needs to be clear accountability.

"The impunity continues and police officers will continue to think that they can get away from abuse and ill-treatment in custody. This is not the first case where this type of incident has arisen and we're very concerned about the lack of action."

Amnesty's Pacific researcher, Kate Schuetze.

The Police Commissioner, Ben Groenewald, says Mr Bilitaki's arrest is the subject of an internal investigation, following a suggestion by the DPP his arrest may not have complied with the Criminal Procedures Decree.