27 Feb 2007

Fiji NGOs call on commander to end army practice of arresting people after second death

2:57 pm on 27 February 2007

A number of NGOs in Fiji are to ask the military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, to end the army's practice of apprehending people in the wake of the death of a second person.

The Citizen's Constitutional Forum, the CCF, and the Women's Crisis Centre are among those groups which are sending a letter of concern to the commander who is also the interim prime minister.

The CCF's Jone Dakuvula says the request was first made when a man died after being taken to the army camp in early January.

The military denied responsibility but it is now facing allegations that it was also responsible for the death of a 19 year old following a beating he received.

Mr Dakuvula says they will again point out to the commander that the army is taking over the role of the police and it's getting out of hand.

"We will be asking him, repeating what we've already asked him, to give a specific instruction to the army to desist from arresting people and leave the matter to police."

Mr Dakuvula says he hopes action is now taken.