24 Feb 2015

Member of Fiji's Sodelpa tells of personal torture

9:04 pm on 24 February 2015

A youth member of Fiji's opposition Sodelpa party Pita Waqavonovono has given his personal experience of torture at the hands of the military at a parliamentary hearing in Suva.

The Sodelpa Youth Wing was among groups making submissions to the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee which is looking into whether Fiji should ratify the UN Convention Against Torture.

Sodelpa Party Headquarters

Sodelpa Party Headquarters Photo: RNZI / Sally Round

Mr Waqavonovono told the committee in December 2006 he was beaten, abused and humiliated for exercising his right to free speech and he alleged the Prime Minister Frank Bainiamarama was one of those involved.

He told the committee Fiji owed it to young people to sign the convention as they were among the many detained and then hospitalised after the 2006 coup.

The Youth Wing called for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission and said Fiji must not only ratify the treaty but its optional protocols.

It said the government must be ready to have many of its current procedures and laws strengthened under the lense of the treaty.