24 Mar 2011

Fiji police mum on its role in alleged abuse by military

7:19 am on 24 March 2011

The Fiji Police Force says it won't be commenting on any alleged involvement in the detention and beating of critics of the interim regime.

Former cabinet minister Samisoni Tikonisau fled to Australia last month saying he was detained, beaten and injured at a military barracks in Suva.

Sally Round reports.

"Mr Tikonisau's claims are among several cases of alleged military brutality and initimidation which have raised alarm among human rights groups. Radio New Zealand International's been seeking a response from the police force since a military spokesman confirmed Mr Tikonisau was detained earlier this month. The spokesman said Mr Tikonisau had been apprehended over the distribution of an anti-government DVD in Fiji. Mr Tikonisau was never charged although detained for three days and he was treated at a hospital in Australia for his injuries. The military spokeman denied he'd been beaten and said the military's role is merely to locate and help police with their investigations. He referred us to the police to which we put a detailed set of questions. A spokesman says the force will not be commenting on the issue."