5 Oct 2016

Calls for corporal punishment in Fiji are condemned

11:17 am on 5 October 2016

Calls by Fiji's head of corrections for a discussion on reintroducing corporal punishment have been condemned.

Commander Francis Kean, the Commissioner of the Fiji Corrections Service, raised it as a possibility in response to violent crimes and car-jackings.

Just last month Fiji's deputy Police Commissioner Isikeli Ligairi told the United Nations that police will no longer tolerate brutality.

This week eight suspended policemen and a military officer are facing trial for the rape of a civilian, who died in custody.

Fiji Women's Crisis Centre Co-ordinator, Shamima Ali.

Fiji Women's Crisis Centre Co-ordinator, Shamima Ali. Photo: supplied

Commander Kean himself was convicted of manslaughter in 2007, and the Fiji Women Crisis Centre Co-ordinator Shamima Ali said his calls were outdated and out of touch.

"There seems to be a total lack of communication and also awareness for what is going on around," said Ms Ali. "An particularly for someone in the position of commissioner of prisons and so on."

"It's quite shocking to hear these comments coming from someone like that," said Ms Ali.

She said there should not be any discussion on corporal punishment.

Ms Ali said the comments show a complete lack of awareness.

"We already have a few torture cases in court, or with the DPP's office, and basically for me the bottom line is that there should not be any discussion around this," she said.

Ms Ali said the comments are way out of line with Fiji's ratification of the Convention Against Torture and its bid for the UN Human Rights Council.