PM supports idea of punishment for rape

FijiFirst party leader Voreqe Bainimarama at their party's campaign rally in Nabua. Picture: ARIETA VAKASUKAWAQA

FIJIFIRST party leader and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has publicly supported the idea of corporal punishment for rapists in correction facilities around the country.

The issue came to light after a former military officer, Kinivuwai Nayacalevu, 59, at a campaign rally in Nabua, Suva on Tuesday night requested Mr Bainimarama to bring back corporal punishment for those convicted of rape.

“I believe if this happens, it will fully complement the FijiFirst manifesto of supporting families in Fiji.

“As you can see rape and sexual assault on our women is increasing every day, it’s really sad. I believe this is the only solution,” Mr Nayacalevu said.

Responding to the request in iTaukei, Mr Bainimarama said he supported the idea.

“Me kuita? Io au duavata. Au duavata na veitalanoa qori (To physically punish? Yes I support that. I am with you on that issue),” he added.

Mr Bainimarama said talks were in progress to introduce corporal punishment before he even took over Government and it was discussed along the issue of human rights too.

He said they had been holding talks with the Fiji Corrections Service commissioner and its chaplain on the issue.

“There is an arrangement to bring that back. I support the idea,” Mr Bainimarama said. Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission director Ashwin Raj said he would need to clarify the statement by Mr Bainimarama before issuing a response.

Fiji ratified the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT), making it the 159th state to ratify the convention.

It is also the first country in the region to be on the UN Human Rights Council.

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