26 Feb 2007

Mother of Fiji youth says soldiers who beat her son to death are cowards

4:36 pm on 26 February 2007

The mother of a 19 year old boy who died in Fiji after being beaten by members of the military says she has laid a complaint with the police and the military.

Mrs Alanieta Rabaka says her son Sakiusa and two others were picked up by a military van outside her house in Nadi in January, and taken to the camp and beaten.

She says he was kicked in the head and kidneys as he was forced to crawl along the ground.

Mrs Rabaka says her son blacked out, had fits and was taken to hospital but he developed blood clots and eventually died on the weekend.

She says she immediately informed the police and military but hasn't heard anything since and she wants the beatings to stop.

"I think that's a cowardly act because these youths are helpless. And, when they come to question a youth, there's always a lot of them. Like with my son and his two friends, there were seven army officers and a police officer so the youth are helpless against those army officers."

The army spokesman could not be contacted for comment but the police have released a statement saying the case is under investigation.