5 Mar 2007

Claims of fourth death in Fiji attributed to military

8:02 pm on 5 March 2007

There are claims that a fourth man may have been killed by Fiji's military.

That is the claim of the Intelligentsiya weblog, which has been monitoring alleged human rights abuses following last year's coup.

If confirmed, the death would be the fourth in the country attributed to the military since its December 5 overthrow of the democratically elected government.

Fiji's military has already been accused of being responsible for the death of 32-year-old salesman John Whippy on New Year's Eve, 41 year old land surveyor Nimilote Verebasaga in January, and 19-year-old Sakiusa Rabaka who died last month.

Intelligentsiya says the man died late last month in hospital from injuries allegedly sustained during an attack by soldiers after a drug raid on his village in the east of Vanua Levu.

The report came as Fiji's Human Rights Commission confirmed it was investigating Mr Rabaka's death.

The Commission's director, Dr Shaista Shameem, said steps were being taken to investigate the death in accordance with the group's statutory duties.

She said she was not aware of allegations of a fourth death.