7 Mar 2013

NZ opposition urges Fiji regime to stand out culture of violence

2:00 pm on 7 March 2013

New Zealand's opposition says the Fiji regime has to take action to end the culture of violence as seen in a videotaped beating released on the internet two days ago.

The nine-minute recording shows a group of men abusing two tied-up individuals and also shows the licence plate of a pick-up truck, on which one of the tied-up men was beaten and stripped.

The Labour Party's Phil Goff says when parliament resumes next week, he will seek cross-party support to condemn the incident.

Police have not said if there has been any progress in their investigations, which they say they launched two days ago.

Mr Goff says outside pressure is needed to improve the situation in Fiji.

"There are no normal safeguards against abuse of power. You don't have a free media. You don't have an independent judiciary. You don't have opposition political parties that can speak out. You have effectively an autocratic system of government and that means that outside pressure from friends and neighbours around the Pacific and around the world is going to be really important to try and produce change."

Labour Party's Phil Goff advises the Fiji regime to pay attention for economic reasons because New Zealanders and Australians are unlikely to want to go on holiday to a country where elements within the police can beat people without there being any consequence.