6 Mar 2007

Fiji military says it doesn't condone force after outcry over alleged abuses

5:18 pm on 6 March 2007

Fiji's military commander has pledged to reduce the role of the army in investigating crime, following concern over soldiers allegedly being involved in fatal beating.

Commodore Frank Bainimarama, who is also the interim prime minister, says the military won't condone the use of force after reports of soldiers beating suspects to suppress dissent and when investigating alleged crimes.

Commodore Bainimarama says he will reduce the army's role in civil investigations and review the presence of soldiers on the streets.

He says the military is responsive to public views on abuse of human rights and privileges and would try to ensure people could live their lives normally.

He has issued a statement, saying all previous cases involving abuse of human rights will be thoroughly investigated on an independent basis by the police and the Human Rights Commission.