Society condemns alleged brutality

The Fiji Law Society executives during a Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights. Picture: ALISI VUCAGO/FILE

THE Fiji Law Society has issued a statement strongly condemning the events that led to the death of assault victim, Joseua Lalauvaki, allegedly at the hands of police officers.

“The Fiji Law Society is greatly concerned at the recent media reports regarding the death of the 26-year-old,” said president Laurel Vaurasi.

“It is alleged that Mr Lalauvaki’s death was the result of the injuries he sustained after being assaulted by members of the Fiji Police Force on September 2, 2018.

“The society strongly reaffirms its stand for the rule of law, its condemnation of any form of abuse of office including any abuse by members of the police force and the protection and safeguard of fundamental human rights afforded to every person.

“For these reasons, the society welcomes the call and reassurance by the Police Commissioner Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho that a full and thorough investigation will be carried out by the Internal Affairs Unit into the full circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Lalauvaki.

“The society fully agrees that there should not be any place within the police force for officers who abuse the authorities vested in them.

“The Fiji Law Society looks forward to the completion of the investigation and that anyone that is found responsible for the death of Mr Lalauvaki is brought before a court of law.”

Six policemen were taken in for questioning over the incident with four being subsequently released. Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro issued a statement yesterday on the progress of investigations.

“Following the meeting with the DPP’s Office this morning (yesterday), the two police officers who were in custody for their alleged involvement in the death of a 26-year-old man have been cautioned and released,” she said.

“Investigators have been advised to complete all necessary processes of the investigation and compile the file for submission to the DPP’s Office for sanctioning.”