23 Jul 2014

Call for swift Fiji torture video probe

8:13 pm on 23 July 2014

The Fiji NGO Coalition for Human Rights says the investigation into last year's torture video could have been completed a long time ago.

Last week, the Police Chief of Operations, Rusiate Tudravu, confirmed that the case had been closed, but the Police Commissioner, Major General Ben Groenewald, now says the investigation is still open.

The nine-minute video released on the internet shows a handcuffed man being beaten with batons and metal bars by men in plain clothes, with one man being set upon by a dog as its handler urges the animal on.

The chair of the NGO coalition, Shamima Ali, says those who beat the recaptured prisoners can be identified.

"I have friends who are retired police officers and so on who can identify the officers within that video. So that wasn't a problem at all. It should have been closed a long, long time ago. People should have been brought to task by now."

Shamima Ali says the case will also test the regime leader's commitment to human rights after he last year refused to condemn the beating but said he stood by his men.