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Villager claims police brutality

Mere Naleba
Sunday, January 28, 2018

A VILLAGER from Dravuwalu Village on the island of Totoya claimed on Friday he was assaulted by a group of police officers on the island conducting drug raids.

Viliame Mocevakaca, 19, said he was visited by seven police officers at his Dravuwalu Village home last Tuesday, where six other villagers also joined them.

Speaking in the iTaukei language, Mr Mocevakaca claimed the group of officers, some of whom he recognised were from the Moala Community Post on the island of Moala and some he suspected were from Suva, made them walk to a nearby farm.

Mr Mocevakaca said at the farm, the officers allegedly assaulted five of them by punching, kicking and slapping them.

He claimed they did not seek medical examination because they needed to pay for fuel for fibreglass boats to take them across to Tovu Village where the nursing station was and they also could not lodge a report with police as they were the very ones who had allegedly assaulted them.

He said all five men sustained injuries, but were doing well.

Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said the team on the island was led by divisional police commander southern Senior Superintendent of Police Tevita Waqabaca, and the men who claim to have been assulted could report the matter to him.

"They can liaise directly with the divisional police commander southern SSP Tevita Waqabaca on 9905275 if they wish to lodge a complaint, if they don't feel comfortable reporting it to Moala Station," Ms Naisoro said.

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