12 Jul 2016

More images of brutality emerge in Fiji

8:57 pm on 12 July 2016

Fiji's police chief says he has ordered an investigation after photos emerged on social media of bloodied and captive men.

Warning - story contains graphic image.

The photos show shots of several men with bruises and cuts, and one lying with a bandaged head and hands tied.

Men in uniform are seen in the background.

There was concern the images related to a recent joint police and military operation to clamp down on marijuana farms in Fiji's highlands.

The Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho released a statement to Fiji media saying he had been alerted to the photos regarding alleged misconduct of officers who are part of operation Cavuraka.

He said during a visit to the operation team he had stressed the need to respect the rights of suspects and he said a thorough investigation would take place.

"I can assure members of the public that I have ordered a thorough investigation be conducted to determine what took place," he said.

"During an earlier visit to the Operation team in Keiyasi, I had stressed the need to respect the rights of suspects and any reports indicating otherwise will be dealt with accordingly," said Brigadier-General Qiliho.

"I do not condone any of my officers abusing their powers and necessary disciplinary action will be taken against those who do."

The Islands Business magazine reported a relative of one of the men in the photos had come forward and she said the photos were taken during raids in the hinterlands of Fiji's main island Viti Levu in 2009.

The magazine in a Facebook post reported she confirmed her relative had been badly burnt when hot water was poured down his back.

The woman was reported to have said it is the first time the photos had been made public.