1 Nov 2018

Fiji police must expand probe into man's death - Amnesty

2:05 pm on 1 November 2018

Amnesty International is calling for Fiji police to widen their investigation into the death of a man allegedly beaten by officers, to include other victims in the same incident.

Fiji police.

Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

Josua Lalauvaki was seriously injured after an assault outside a Suva nightclub and died in hospital last month, shortly after he was released from police custody.

Two police officers have been suspended in relation to the death, while investigations continue.

Roshika Deo, Amnesty International's Fiji researcher, said two women and another man were assaulted alongside Mr Lalauvaki that same night.

"The police should be initiating an investigation into these instances too, they have only remained focused on Josua, which is a priority, but at the same time, there were also instances of abuse by the police against other people in the same instance."

Police officers had also prevented victims of the alleged nightclub assault from filing a complaint on the same day the incident happened, but no one had been held to account, Ms Deo said.

"The police officers that were involved, the accountability should extend right to command level, this is a huge problem," she said.

"In investigations like this, the investigation needs to be prompt and it needs to be effective and independent."

Fiji Police were approached for comment.