Kick and punch claim

The Fiji Times - - FRONT PAGE - By ARIETA VAKASUKAWA­QA

THE 16-year-old boy in­ter­ro­gated by mil­i­tary and po­lice of­fi­cers over an anti-gov­ern­ment so­cial me­dia post has spo­ken out about the in­ci­dent.

In an in­ter­view with this news­pa­per, the teenager claimed he was phys­i­cally abused at the army’s Queen El­iz­a­beth Bar­racks in Nabua, Suva on Septem­ber 23.

The Repub­lic of Fiji Mil­i­tary Forces (RFMF), po­lice, and Fiji Hu­man Rights and Anti-Dis­crim­i­na­tion Com­mis­sion di­rec­tor Ash­win Raj have not re­sponded to ques­tions sent by The Fiji Times ear­lier this week re­gard­ing the assault claims made by the teenager.

THE 16-year-old boy in­ter­ro­gated by mil­i­tary and po­lice of­fi­cers over an anti-gov­ern­ment so­cial me­dia post has spo­ken out about the in­ci­dent.

In an in­ter­view with this news­pa­per un­der con­di­tion of anonymity, the teenager claimed he was phys­i­cally abused at the Repub­lic of Fiji Mil­i­tary Forces Queen El­iz­a­beth Bar­racks in Nabua, Suva on Septem­ber 23.

“O ra­tou vac­u­laki au saraga, ra­tou vac­u­laki au, ra­tou qai bu­tu­laki au, dina madaga niu tukuna vei ra­tou niu sega ni cakava

(They kept punch­ing and kick­ing me, even though I told them that I didn’t do it),” he said in the iTaukei lan­guage.

He claimed two men in civil­ian clothes who iden­ti­fied them­selves as mil­i­tary of­fi­cers ap­proached him at his home around 9am.

“E rua na tagane rau sobu mai na mo­toka, rau lako yani i vale, oti ya rau kerei au sara me keitou vodo (Two men got off the car, they came home and re­quested that I go with them),” he said.

“E rua tale na tagane rau dabe tu lo­mani mo­toka, ra­tou tukuna ga ni ra­tou via lai vatarogi au

(Two oth­ers were sit­ting in the car, they said they wanted to ques­tion me).”

He said on ar­rival at the army bar­racks, he was taken to an empty room where four men were wait­ing.

He said he was ques­tioned about a so­cial me­dia post where swear words were al­legedly di­rected at Prime Min­is­ter Voreqe Bain­i­marama.

“Koya matai ga nona tarogi au mai, ‘iko dina cakava na ka ya’? Au tukuna yani ni sega, sa lako saraga mai dakuqu nai vacu vei dua na so­tia e dabe tiko mai dakuqu (The man asked me if I posted the photo, as soon as I said no, a man sit­ting be­hind me punched me in the back),” he said.

He said a while later a man who ap­peared to be of su­pe­rior rank en­tered the room and di­rected the men to hand him over to po­lice because it was their ju­ris­dic­tion.

He claimed he was taken to an­other room and forced to sit on the floor.

“Ra­tou tukuna meu dabe i ra, ra­tou sa qai dabe cawiri taki au, ra­tou bu­tu­laki au, ra­tou vac­u­laki au qai vosavosaca­taki au (They told me to sit on the floor, they also sat down en­cir­cling me, they as­saulted me and started swear­ing at me),” the boy said.

“Au tukuna tu ga vei ra­tou niu sega ni bi­uta cake nai taba, ra­tou vac­u­laki au tu ga, au sa rere ga, au qai tukuna niu cakava (De­spite telling them many times that I didn’t post up the photo, they kept as­sault­ing me so I got scared and said I did it).”

The teenager said he feared for his life and the men forced him to ad­mit that he was the per­son be­hind the so­cial me­dia post.

He claimed they then handed him over to the Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion Depart­ment at

Toorak, Suva. He said the same men forced him to ad­mit to the po­lice that he had put up the so­cial me­dia post.

The teenager claimed that on the morn­ing of Septem­ber 24, he was taken to To­togo Po­lice Sta­tion and vis­ited by a fe­male of­fi­cial from the ju­ve­nile cen­tre and was later re­leased.

His mother, who also spoke to this news­pa­per un­der the con­di­tion of anonymity, claimed her son was in a lot of pain and his neck was swollen on the day he was re­leased by po­lice.

She fur­ther claimed he ex­pe­ri­enced back aches and at times couldn’t move because of the pain.

Ques­tions sent to the RFMF, and po­lice spokes­woman Ana Naisoro on Oc­to­ber 14 re­main unan­swered.

Ques­tions sent to Fiji Hu­man Rights and Anti-Dis­crim­i­na­tion Com­mis­sion di­rec­tor Ash­win Raj on Oc­to­ber

15 also re­main unan­swered.

De­spite telling them many times that I didn’t post up the photo, they kept as­sault­ing me so I got scared and said I did it. – 16-year-old boy

Aus­tralia wing Marika Koroi­bete in ac­tion dur­ing the cap­tain’s run at the Oita Sta­dium yes­ter­day. Aus­tralia will face Eng­land to­day at 7.15pm.

The 16-year-old boy who was al­legedly as­saulted by mil­i­tary of­fi­cers pon­ders his fu­ture.

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