FWCC slams police response 

April 15, 2024 6:32 pm

The Fiji Women Crisis Centre has labeled the police response to the death of 19-year-old Esther Ravato as shameful and ineffective.

The allegation is that Ravato was brutally murdered, although the statement by police this afternoon said that investigators had gathered information from medical officials at the Lautoka Hospital, where it was revealed that the victim was a known patient who had previously received treatment for a specific medical ailment.

Police had said medical officials had also issued the victim’s death certificate, where the cause of death had been cited as complications arising from Ravato’s medical condition.

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The FWCC, in response, says this brutal hate crime and the toxic and destructive path of hate speech should not be normalized by the police or anyone in this country.

FWCC says it is urging police to thoroughly and without bias investigate what is alleged to be a horrific assault and stop obfuscating this by repeatedly stating the cause of death as epilepsy.

It adds that the victim, who is a transgender woman, like so many other Fijians in this country, is targeted and has a system of bias against them because of their sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity.

It says leaders must take the lead in calling this out every day, especially those who have access to social media.

Meanwhile, FBC News has cited that the police have not in any way directly stated that Ravato’s cause of death was epilepsy.

The police have also stated that, on the allegations of assault, they will gather statements from medical authorities to verify the claims.

It’s been alleged that the death of the 19-year-old, who was allegedly assaulted in Ba prior to being admitted to the hospital before passing away.

Questions have been sent to the police for a response to the statement by the FWCC.