Padarath pre and post beating!
Yes, we find it hard to believe, too, that is the same man. But we've been assured the injured individual in the wheelchair below is definitely the same guy on the left.
This is Ben Padarath before his beating at the hands of QEB military goons, abuse that we have been told was meted out on the orders of one Major Ben or Penioni Naliva.
The Padarath in the wheelchair is post-beating, outside the Suva Court with his lawyer Rajendra Chaudry, accompanied by a police officer, about a week and a half ago.
Remember, we reported that Padarath ended up in the Colonial War Memorial Hospitalwith a number of injuries, including burns caused by hot water used by military soldiers during his interrogation at the Queen Elizabeth barracks.
The beating took place the week of February the 12th, when we ran our original story.
Cynics and regime supporters, and the military itself, of course, have tried to rubbish coverage of a recent crackdown involving youths, journalists, trade unions and former government ministers.
Doubting Thomases have preferred to believe Fiji soldiers or police would never abuse innocent citizens saying it's lies generated by those trying to discredit the regime and individuals trying to get quick visas or residency in Australia.
But word is spreading, despite the protestations of the likes of Land Force Commander Colonel Mosese Tikoitonga this week.
The US based online newspaper, The Bula Tribune, secured the photo of Padarath in the wheelchair and has spoken to journalists who interviewed Padarath. Bula Tribune says Padarath revealed to them that he was sexually violated with a bottle.
Padarath originally came to the attention of military because of the $400,000 fraud allegations involving the Ghanian businessman and lawyer, Renee Lal, who was also beaten with a bottle about her head.
But he's also been in their range over the failed plot last year to overthrow the illegal leader, Frank Bainimarama.
Coupfourpointfive is urging anyone who is unfortunate enough to end up in the hands of soldiers and police to document any violence and abuse, be it mental or physical.
We also encourage people and their families and supporters to photograph the injuries and to see a doctor for the purposes of reporting these crimes against humanity to the right international authorities.