March 02, 2007

Military brutality victim laid to rest

Sakiusa Rabaka, the 19-year-old Nadi youth who died after being assaulted by soldiers and a policeman, was buried today, while the nation’s attention was focussed on the emergency budget being announced by military-backed interim Finance Minister Mahendra Chaudhry in Suva.

Fiji TV reported that about 100 people attended his funeral service at the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Namaka, Nadi.

Sakiusa’s admission to hospital for brain surgery and eventual death were both reported first by Intelligentsiya. It is the third military-related death since the coup on December 5, 2006. (Intelligentsiya considers the death of John Whippy in December part of this tally because he was allegedly bashed up by Francis Kean, the Navy commander and brother-in-law of Commander Voreqe Bainimarama over alleged anti-army comments.)

Six soldiers and a policeman have been implicated in his death. The policeman has been interviewed under caution while the soldiers are expected to be questioned later. The military also says they are investigating the death.

Sakiusa was arrested on January 28 along with some of his friends on suspicion of dealing or smoking marijuana. They were taken to an army base in Nadi and made to run up and down a hill with heavy sacks on their backs. They were also beaten. Photographs taken by his family after Sakiusa’s release showed a heavily-bruised back and chest and what looked like a rope-burn or similar injury across his stomach near his navel.

After his release the morning after his arrest, Sakiusa began to complain of headaches. He was taken to Nadi hospital, then to Lautoka hospital before being transferred to the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva for brain surgery a week later.

After surgery, he returned to Nadi but collapsed on February 24 and finally succumbed to his injuries.

An autopsy revealed Sakiusa died from brain haemorrhage.

His death prompted an outcry of shock from his friends and youth activists. Interim Labour Minister Bernadette Rounds-Ganilau, who visited Sakiusa while he was in hospital in Suva and reported his injuries to army spokesman Major Neumi Leweni, expressed regret at his death saying “this should never have happened”.


Anonymous said...

"An autopsy revealed Sakiusa died from brain haemorrage"

It reveals MUCH more than that!

It reveals what is happening under the monster, Bainimarama,

This is awful! Now is the time to SPEAK OUT! If you can read this you can add your voice to the protest.

It's the time for action, the time to take up arms against the monster (make your arms WORDS, not weapons!).

Take the bastard on! Tell this site what you think. Tell Village voice (, tell the Fiji Times, tell Fiji Buzz, TELL THEM ALL.

Voices raised in blogosphere can make a huge difference - if there are enough of them!!

Anonymous said...

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Anonymous said...

hear hear.... "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

crooked said...

Warning to Vore the day you set foot in Wellington again I will surely give him a big gulp of my saliva.

Anonymous said...

where were you guys when in 2000 and 1987 when people where detained and ladies raped and tortured guess it didn't concern...guess they weren't human enough for you people

Chief Intelligentsiya said...

To last poster: You sound like somebody from military Media Cell. Where were we in 1987? We'll we were in primary school during the first coup, watching as men with guns triggered this cycle of madness in Fiji.
In 2000, the mindless rebels were civilians for the most part, led of course, by mutineers from the military.
This time its the military with its 3000 guns conducting a campaign of violence.
Why can't the military carry out its "clean up" campaign without violence and the threat of violence? They'd probably have the support of the populace if there were no mid-night detentions, assault and death.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, no one died of shooting, seen widely in 2000. No NGO protests.

Then 2006 management change seems to have prompted you guys to action.
Then perhaps all this harrangue has really something to do with FNPF, NLTB clean up campaign.

Seems that Intellgenciya is focused on Human Rights abuse, it glosses over corruption of mega proportions in Fiji.

While protesting the death of democracy in Fiji; you guys don't even peep about Iraq invasion, Gitmo, Australia's action in East Timor oil shelf.

Selective freedom of speech isn't it?
Saying you carried a banner in a pre-invasion anti-war march; is not enough.

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