1 Nov 2016

Rights advocate calls for more than words from Fiji leaders

8:34 pm on 1 November 2016

A human rights advocate says Fiji's leaders need to do more than just make statements about ending police brutality.

This comes after a man, Ricardo Fisher, said on Monday that he was punched and kicked while in custody last week.

Mr Fisher said he spent two days in hospital with injuries including broken ribs.

His case follows the beating of several individuals on a roadside in Suva two weeks ago.

In a speech last week, prime minister Frank Bainimarama admitted torture was an issue, but said it was never sanctioned by the state.

The secretary of the Coalition for Human Rights, Monica Waqanisau, said unless major reform followed, the Prime Minister's words would ring hollow.

"What it shows is that words can only say so much," she said.

"The institutions themselves is what is fragmented, and that is where the cleanup needs to start. It only goes to show that they just like to be serial offenders of irony."

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