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Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

& Other Ill Treatment

In the early years of the 21st Century, 2000 to 2025                                

Republic of the Fiji Islands

Although the number of reported cases declined in 2017, torture and beatings by police remained a problem. Police officers and military officials who commit abuses are rarely brought to justice, and those who are convicted of crimes are frequently pardoned or have their convictions overturned on appeal. Prisons are often overcrowded, lack sanitation, and provide inadequate health services.

[Freedom House Country Report, 2018]

Description: Description: Fiji

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Fiji.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Torture by Authorities are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring the moral justification for inflicting pain or inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment in order to obtain critical information that may save countless lives, or to elicit a confession for a criminal act, or to punish someone to teach him a lesson outside of the courtroom.  Perhaps your paper might focus on some of the methods of torture, like fear, extreme temperatures, starvation, thirst, sleep deprivation, suffocation, or immersion in freezing water.  On the other hand, you might choose to write about the people acting in an official capacity who perpetrate such cruelty.  There is a lot to the subject of Torture by Authorities.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.

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Fiji military leader admits beatings, torture

Kathy Marks, The Age, Fairfax Media Network, 20 June 2014

[accessed 22 June 2014]

As Fiji prepares for its first elections in eight years, the new head of the all-powerful armed forces has admitted that citizens have been beaten and tortured by the military regime, claiming it was necessary to stave off civil disorder.

“I wouldn’t deny that these things happened,” said Brigadier-General Mosese Tikoitoga, hand-picked successor of Frank Bainimarama, who has stepped down from the military to contest the elections. “But a lot of these people were actually trying to instigate violence by creating anti-government movements or militant groups.

“They were talking on the radio and so on … If you let them continue to have a voice, you create a potentially dangerous environment. So it was the lesser of two devils.”

Fiji: “Shocking” video depicts alleged torture of prisoners

Amnesty International, 5 March 2013

[accessed 5 March 2013]

[accessed 24 August 2016]

Video footage apparently showing the torture of two men  in Fiji is “shocking”, Amnesty International said on Tuesday, as it called for an independent investigation into the events.

The nine minute video posted online appears to show two men being repeatedly beaten with poles, as they lie huddled on the ground handcuffed and screaming in agony as batons are used repeatedly against them.

The authenticity of the footage is still to be verified and the perpetrators are not in uniform, however, it appears consistent with earlier reports of brutality against prisoners.

“This appalling incident appears to be the latest example of abuse. The Fijian authorities must treat this shocking footage with the utmost seriousness and immediately initiate an independent investigation,” said Roseann Rife of Amnesty International. “While the video is still to be verified what is clear is that torture is unacceptable under any circumstances and those responsible must be brought to justice.”

“The humiliation of the men and their injuries evident in the video is very serious. Forced to undress and harassed by a dog, as men nearby laugh, it is difficult to watch. The subsequent brutal beating with batons is harrowing. It is torture.”

Amnesty International is calling for an independent and transparent investigation into these events.

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2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Fiji

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 18 July 2021]


The police Ethical Standards Unit is responsible for investigating complaints of police misconduct. As of July, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions charged 38 officers for police misconduct.


Prisons were overcrowded. In September 2018, according to an Asian and Pacific Conference of Correctional Administrators report, prisons in the country had a capacity of 1,916 and a population of 2,643. There were insufficient beds, inadequate sanitation, and a shortage of other necessities.

Freedom House Country Report

2018 Edition

[accessed 12 May 2020]


Although the number of reported cases declined in 2017, torture and beatings by police remained a problem. Police officers and military officials who commit abuses are rarely brought to justice, and those who are convicted of crimes are frequently pardoned or have their convictions overturned on appeal. Prisons are often overcrowded, lack sanitation, and provide inadequate health services.

Fiji torture victims claim further police intimidation

Radio New Zealand RNZ, 24 February 2018

[accessed 27 February 2018]

The village headman for a group of men in Fiji who say they were tortured by the police says officers threatened to return to the village if they spoke of their ordeal.

The group's lawyer told RNZ earlier this week that nine policemen arrived in Waikubukubu village on the 26th of January, took the men to a nearby police post and proceeded to beat them for hours.

Today, the headman of Waikubukubu, Peceli Natusoro, told the Fiji Times that when they were released without charge, the nine men were warned not to speak of their ordeal or the officers would return.

Mr Natusoro told the newspaper the men were so traumatised and fearful of retribution that they did not seek immediate medical attention.

One of the men's mothers says her son was bedridden for days before his wife forced him to go to the hospital.

UN High Commissioner concerned at Fiji media curbs

Radio New Zealand RNZ, 13 February 2018

[accessed 13 February 2018]

I also call on the government to withdraw its reservations to the UN Convention Against Torture, particularly regarding the definition of torture and access to remedies, and ratify the option of protocol to this convention.

Torture ratification praised

Felix Chaudhary, Fiji Times ONOLINE, 10 December 2017

[accessed 12 December 2017]

[accessed 1 January 2019]

The steps taken by Fiji to ratify the Convention Against Torture and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was praised by by British High Commissioner Melanie Hopkins.

Speaking at the 19th Attorney General's Conference at Natadola last Friday, Ms Hopkins said she hoped other nations would follow Fiji's example in signing up to important conventions that would help address issues of concern in Pacific island nations.

Fiji groups urge ratification of torture treaty

Radio New Zealand International, 23 February 2015

[accessed 30 March 2015]

Several countries called on Fiji to urgently ratify the international agreement at a hearing of the Human Rights Council in Geneva earlier this year.

A video showing a handcuffed man being beaten reportedly by security forces went viral in 2013 and is still being investigated.

Fiji: Open letter concerning reports of torture of recaptured prisonners

Amnesty International, Index Number: ASA 18/002/2012, 12 December 2012

[accessed 6 March 2013]

[7 December 2012]

The above information has been openly reported in the media, however limited information has been available on the health of the five men since they were recaptured and the causes of such serious injuries. amnesty International has received verified and reliable information, which details the treatment of these five men after they were recaptured. It includes testimony that the men complied with the directions of armed military officers and did not resist arrest when they were recaptured at Uduya Point.

The testimony states that armed military officers tortured the men following their recapture at Uduya Point. The men were handcuffed and beaten. They were then placed on a boat and taken to the mainland. Security officers threw a handcuffed and injured Qaranigio into the sea several times, each time hauling him back into the boat. The men were then taken to Nabua military barracks where the torture continued.

The testimony says that the men were forced to take off all their clothes and were left naked in dark cells. The men were kicked, hit with the butt of guns, sworn at, spat on and had hot water poured on them. One of the men was unconscious for most of two days in which he was in military custody at Nabua barracks. Another suffered rectal injuries after military officers pushed the barrel of a gun into his anus.


From an old article -- URL not available

Article was published sometime prior to 2015

TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT - Police and security forces faced allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, including beating, threatening and intimidating people, particularly government critics.

In September, five men who escaped from prison were recaptured by security forces and were reportedly tortured. All five were hospitalized as a result of their injuries and one had his leg amputated.


For current articles:: Search Amnesty International Website

[accessed 1 January 1, 2019]

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Human Rights Reports » 2006 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 6, 2007

[accessed 28 January 2013]

[accessed 3 July 2019]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT – The constitution prohibits such practices; however, there were some reports of abuses by police during the year. The military committed numerous abuses after the December 5 coup.

Reported incidents of police beatings and other abuse of apprehended persons and prisoners prior to the coup were investigated and, when appropriate, offending officers were prosecuted and punished. All such cases appeared to be isolated incidents, not condoned by supervisory officers. At year's end the investigation into a 2005 case in which the police allegedly failed to obtain prompt medical treatment for a suspect injured during apprehension was still ongoing.

Following the coup there were numerous incidents of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) detaining without a warrant and abusing persons who had voiced opposition to the coup or who supported a return to democratic government. In the late hours of December 24 and early hours of December 25, soldiers took six prodemocracy supporters from their homes, including young persons who had erected a "prodemocracy shrine" outside a house in Lami (see section 2.a.), and brought them to the RFMF's Queen Elizabeth barracks, where they reportedly were beaten, stepped on, and threatened with weapons. They were then forced to run several miles through Suva followed by soldiers in vehicles. Also on December 25, the military seized five young men in a Suva suburb and made them strip to their underwear and crawl through drain pipes before being dropped at a remote jungle location to find their way home. In another incident soldiers seized a former government minister overheard in a bar criticizing Bainimarama, roughed him up, and made him run around a track at gunpoint. Some women detained by the military for speaking out against the coup were sexually molested.

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Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- Fiji",, [accessed <date>]