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Confirmation of excessive force in Navua arrest

November 19, 2019 4:50 pm
A suspect arrested by Navua police last Thursday was the victim of an assault at the hands of officers.

A suspect arrested by Navua police last Thursday was the victim of alleged assault at the hands of officers.

The Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission has found there was alleged excessive use of force during the arrest, and assault in the course of the interrogation of the suspect.

Commission Director Ashwin Raj says the alleged assault resulted in 15% superficial scalding burns on the suspect’s back and arms.

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The suspect also sustained fractures on his ribs and a hairline fracture on his right ankle.

The Commission further found that the officers who perpetrated the alleged acts of violence also made efforts to cover up their actions.

Raj says the action of these police officers is a breach of the suspect’s constitutional right to be free from cruel and degrading treatment under Section 11(1) of the Fijian Constitution.

The Commission has found, the evidence – including medical records, victim and witness statements, as well as interviews with concerned police officers suggests police officers at the Pacific Harbour Police Post breached the Criminal Procedures Act and the Crimes Act Section 10(3).

Raj confirms they will now submit the full report to the Fiji Police Force and lodge a formal complaint of assault causing actual bodily harm, and the use of excessive force.

According to the FHRDC the victim has also agreed to the Commission acting on his behalf to seek remedies for the breach of his constitutional rights by instituting appropriate proceedings.

The Commission calls on the Fiji Police Force to hold these officers to account.

 

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