Target: Prime Minister of Fiji Fran Baininmarama
Goal: Open immediate investigation into the brutal beating of an elderly teacher
The government of Fiji must immediately investigate the beating of an elderly man by members of the security forces. The man, who has yet to be named, is a teacher. He allegedly sent text messages to Prime Minister Fran Baininmarama claiming that songs that he had written were used without his permission during a recent campaign. Four army officers went to his home, dragged him into an alley and viciously assaulted him. The Fijian government must explain what happened in this case.
This case is just the most recent in a long line of alleged abuses committed by the military and other security forces in Fiji. In addition, this incident comes shortly after a robbery suspect died in police custody soon after arrest. Autopsies showed that the suspect died from organ failure following severe physical assault. Four police officers were suspended but none have been charged with a crime or even relieved of their duties. Another video leaked in 2013 shows police officers torturing detainees, hitting them with batons and letting dogs drag prisoners along the ground. In this case as well, no officers were disciplined.
The 60-year-old teacher is still in the hospital recovering from his injuries. Recent actions taken by government security forces are flagrant violations of international human rights law. The government must do more to hold its security forces responsible for the crimes they commit. The government must investigate allegations of torture or else the international community will punish the country with sanctions. Sign this petition and demand that Fiji investigate these allegations of police brutality.
Dear Prime Minister Fran Baininmarama,
The alleged assault of a 60-year-old teacher by your country’s security forces is appalling. Sadly, it is hardly surprising as Fiji has a storied history of police brutality. I ask that you take a step to fix this sorry reputation and investigate this most recent event. If nothing is done, the international community will likely hit your country with economic sanctions.
Sending officers to viciously beat a man who sent text messages to you regarding a serious legal issue is hardly a way to treat your citizens. It is also a serious violation of international human rights law. I urge you to do the right thing and change the culture of violence that has come to define Fiji.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: United Nations Photo via Flickr