September 26, 2012

Fiji to probe alleged prisoner brutality

Updated 25 September 2012, 16:58 AEST

A human rights group claims prison escapees were badly beaten during their recapture.

The Coalition on Human Rights says the five men were unable to appear in court today because they are reportedly in hospital.

The group says the military's involvement should also be investigated as it should have been a police matter.

"This is very sinister for us," Shamnima Ali from the Coalition on Human Rights told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat.

"We are actually questioning the military involvement in the alleged brutality, but also the involvement in the work that is normally in a democratic country, police work,"

She said the police claim the men may fallen and injured themselves during their recapture.

Government probe
Fiji's Ministry of Information has released a statement saying the Fijian Government does not condone the excessive force used in the apprehension of recaptured prisoners who escaped from Naboro Prison on Monday night.

Permanent Secretary Sharon Smith Johns says such incidents are unfortunate and the government makes it clear that behaviour of this nature is unacceptable and it is investigating the circumstances.

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