23 May 2007

Fiji police say use of force is only allowed when arrest is made

1:42 pm on 23 May 2007

Fiji's acting police commissioner, Romanu Tikotikoca, says the military or the police are restricted in the use of force to when they make an arrest.

And, he says force is only allowed if it is necessary to make the arrest.

Mr Tikotikoca was speaking after several people were taken up to the military camp recently for questioning, and while there, they allege they were physically assaulted or threatened due to their anti-coup stance.

The acting commissioner says under the emergency regulations, the armed forces, that is the military and the police, have the power to effect arrests and people can be taken to the camp for questioning.

"The use of force in terms of the public emergency regulations can be effected only when making an arrest if it is necessary, otherwise, there's no way that you can use force."

The people taken to the camp were neither arrested nor charged.

Mr Tikotikoca also says the police will investigate allegations of physical abuse by the military if a formal complaint is laid.