The Commission calls for a thorough investigation into the death of remandee, Jone Masirewa - Raj

The Commission calls for a thorough investigation into the death of remandee, Jone Masirewa - Raj

By Naveel Krishant
Friday 17/04/2020
The Director of the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission Ashwin Raj

The Director of the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission Ashwin Raj says the Commission calls for a prompt, thorough and transparent investigation into the death of Jone Masirewa, a remandee at the Natabua Remand Centre and to hold those responsible to account without impunity.

Raj says the Commission, on its own motion, is investigating this matter.

He says any allegation of death in custody is a serious human rights concern given the fact that the right to life is absolute.

The Director says the allegation made by the family of the late Jone Masirewa, that they were not informed of the reason for their son’s arrest and detainment until the day he died is disconcerting and constitutes an interdiction of his rights as an arrested and detained person pursuant to section 13 of the Fijian Constitution.

Raj further says those arrested and detained have the right to be free from cruel and degrading treatment and must be afforded their rights guaranteed under section 13 of the Fijian Constitution.

The Director says in such circumstances, the Commission ordinarily would have visited the Natabua Remand Centre to conduct its preliminary investigations. However, in the context of the COVID19 pandemic, the Fiji Corrections Service has suspended visitations to all its facilities.

He adds the Commission was informed in an earlier email by the Fiji Corrections Service that all visitation such as legal visits, family visits, official visits or any other visits is suspended until further notice.

Raj says the Deputy Commissioner of the Fiji Corrections Service informed the Commission that “due to mass population in all Corrections facilities it will always be at risk if there is any outbreak inside the facilities. Precautionary measures are being taken to ensure the health and hygiene of those under their care is their top priority.”

He says therefore, the Commission wrote to the Fiji Corrections Service on 14th April 2020 enquiring the name and age of the deceased in question, why was the remandee incarcerated and for how long and as per the media reports, the remandee was not feeling well. In such a circumstance, was the remandee provided immediate medical attention by the authorities and is the post-mortem report available? What could have led to the remandee’s death?

Raj adds that the Commission is awaiting a response from the Fiji Corrections Service to its queries.

The Director further says the suspension of visitation rights in places of detention such as prisons and police stations in the context of COVID-19, places an important obligation on authorities with the power to arrest and detain to conduct themselves within the confines of the rule of law and in adherence to human rights because those in conditions of incarceration are vulnerable in such times.

He adds while the Commission is mindful of the fact that ensuring the rights of arrested and detained persons can be a challenge in this context given the risks of exposure, the seriousness of the late Jone Masirewa’s death warrants a prompt, thorough and transparent investigation.




fijivillage Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan
Latest Videos

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
FEATURE NEWS
Shaky start for Fiji Men’s 7s at the Dubai 7s escaping with a 21-14 win over the USA
The Fiji Airways Men’s National 7s side had a shaky start to their Dubai 7s campaign after securing a close win over the USA in their first pool mat...
2 hours ago
LATEST NEWS
Dubai 7s: Fijiana secures 38-17 win over Great Britain in first pool match
The Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s side opened their Dubai 7s campaign with a remarkable 31-12 win over Great Britain this afternoon. Fiji scored two ...
3 hours ago

All Fijians can make a difference – Kiran
All Fijians can make a difference, no matter how small it may seem as every action counts and shows the power of volunteering which is the power of ...
3 hours ago

BSP Life Group hands over $35,000 to WOWS Kids Fiji after completing 200 million steps
In support of the vital work of Walk On Walk Strong (WOWS) Kids Fiji Foundation, the BSP Life Group and its partners completed 200 million steps over ...
3 hours ago

Fiji focusing on starting SVNS series on a high note
As the countdown begins for the HSBC SVNS Series, the Fiji Airways National 7s team is focused on starting the series on a high note as they face USA ...
6 hours ago

LTA vehicle examiner charged for passing vehicle without complying with proper procedures
A vehicle examiner at the Land Transport Authority has been charged by FICAC for corruption related offences for allegedly passing a vehicle without ...
9 hours ago
IN DEPTH
PM’s motion passed to reduce overseas travel allowances for the PM, Ministers, Assistant Ministers, Leader of Opposition and MPs
Parliament has passed the Prime Minister’s motion to reduce the rates payable for overseas travelling allowances for the Prime Minister, Cabinet ...
10 days ago

CEO of the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission, Joel Abraham appears on fijivillage Straight Talk With Vijay Narayan
CEO of the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission, Joel Abraham appears on fijivillage Straight Talk With Vijay ...
16 days ago

HIV infections in Fiji increased 260% since 2010, making Fiji the second fastest-growing epidemic in the Asia Pacific region
Speaker of Parliament and UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for the Pacific Region, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau says according to the Global AIDS Monitoring Report, Fiji is in the top 5 countries of rising new HIV infections in the Asia Pacific region amongst the 15 t
21 days ago

TOP