14 Dec 2011

No abuse of sex workers in Fiji by soldiers says the country's military boss

4:11 pm on 14 December 2011

Fiji's Land Force Commander denies that soldiers are rounding up sex workers and forcing them to humiliate themselves.

A report released this week reveals that sex workers are suffering serious human rights abuses at the hands of the military.

One of the authors of the University of New South Wales report says the research is based on interviews with 25 sex workers in Lautoka, Suva, Labasa and Nadi, who tell of being made to strip, roll in the mud and endure other forms of humiliation.

But Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga says if that was true, he would have heard about it.

"I am the Commander Land Force. So if something like that would have happened, we would have known, it would have come in the discussions if it didn't come through the proper, official channels. But I'm telling you, it did not happen. Whoever has written that report did it with ulterior motives."

Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga nothing has changed in Fiji since the Crimes Decree was introduced two years ago.