The controversial YouTube video. WARNING: The video contains graphic violent images.
Report – By Daniel Drageset of Pacific Media Watch
Fiji police are investigating an online video showing two men in handcuffs being brutally abused by other men, suspected by critics of being state officials in plain clothes.
Unable to avert any attacks, the man is stripped of his shorts and underwear, pushed and pelted with items. At the end of the video the man has several visible bruises on his thighs.
Anti-regime website Coupfourpointfive claimed the video was evidence of Fiji police brutality against prisoners – but the video does not show any of the assailants clearly, so it is not clear who took part in the act.
“This leaked video is also an indictment of those, bloggers included, who last year endorsed the ugly beatings and torture being dished out to the Naboro escapees, one of who ended up having his leg amputated, when C4.5 published the revelations,” the website said.
“Police later suggested Epeli Qaraniqio lost his right leg because he had diabetes.”
In the video, another man is shown being dragged by a dog in the grass and assaulted while several others are watching.
Some scenes show the assailants laughing and filming the assault on cellphones.
According to FBC News, police were not willing to make a comment about the beating before they identified where it took place.
Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri said the police would also need to identify who was in the video.
Radio Australia reported Grant Bayldon, executive director of Amnesty International New Zealand, as saying the violence shown appeared to be consistent with the assault and torture of recaptured prisoners that the human rights organisation documented in December.
“To say categorically who committed the attacks is not something Amnesty can do, the Fiji government needs to investigate,” he said.
A Fiji non-government organisation, the Coalition for Human Rights, has previously called for a stop on police brutality against prisoners and criminal suspects in the country.
Fiji police investigate graphic beating video
Amnesty International’s statement on the ‘shocking’ video
David Robie’s Cafe Pacific commentary on the alleged torture
‘Shocking’ video depicts alleged Fiji torture of prisoners
Later stories on Pacific Media Watch