22 September, 2020, 7:40 am Central - 23°C Rain

My officers in the North have said that there was no case of assault – Rear Admiral Naupoto
Commander says RFMF will fully cooperate in Police investigations

My officers in the North have said that there was no case of assault – Rear Admiral Naupoto

Commander says RFMF will fully cooperate in Police investigations

By Vijay Narayan
Tuesday 11/08/2020
Army Commander Rear Admiral Viliame Naupoto

Army Commander Rear Admiral Viliame Naupoto says his officers in the Northern Division have informed him that there was no case of soldiers assaulting a canecutter following allegations made against some officers by a man in Labasa.

Rear Admiral Naupoto says the soldiers were looking for a missing hunting rifle which was found under the floor of the house of the owner of the rifle a few days after some canecutters were questioned.

The Army Commander calls on people to file any assault complaint against the RFMF, with the Police.

He stresses that they will cooperate with Police in the investigations as he has been informed that the complaint has been filed.

He also confirms that they have their own Board of Inquiry however there will be no inquiry into this alleged incident.

Commander Naupoto says they will fully assist police in the investigations. The man has claimed that the soldiers hit him on the chest with a piece of timber and a soldier with boots stood on his face last week.

Police spokesperson, Ana Naisoro says the investigation is underway and no one has been charged.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission is conducting an independent investigation into the alleged assault.

Ashwin Raj says the Commission is in contact with the Labasa Police Station seeking further information regarding the case.

The Director says these allegations raise serious concerns about abuse of authority by law enforcement officers.

The Commission reiterates that law enforcement agencies cannot break the law to uphold the law.

Raj says they cannot violate fundamental rights that the state has an obligation both under the constitution as well as international law to uphold.

He says the Commission welcomes the call by the Acting Police Commissioner to investigate the alleged assault incident in Nausori by Police officers and the Commission hopes the RFMF will also call for a prompt, thorough and transparent investigation into the alleged incident in Labasa.

Raj says if these allegations are found to be true, officers responsible must be held accountable without impunity.

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