3 Jun 2011

Call on Suva-based agencies to speak out against Fiji human rights abuses

9:04 am on 3 June 2011

There's a call for regional agencies to speak up about the human rights abuses perpetrated by the Fiji military.

A 2006 coup co-conspirator, Lieutenant Colonel Tevita Uluilakeba Mara, who fled to Tonga evading sedition charges, says his former colleagues have assaulted and tortured people taken to the military barracks.

Col Mara has called on police to investigate.

Suva-based regional bodies have refused all comment on the matter.

Dr Brij Lal, from the Australian National University, says it's a sad development when institutions whose role and responsibility is to investigate human rights abuses, fail to do so.

"And this is a question that should rightfully asked of human rights agencies, UN agencies in Fiji and the Pacific, why they are keeping silent in the face of such serious allegations, made not by outside critics only but by members from within the regime, and so they must be held accountable."