|THE IRONY OF HELPING HANDS: Josaia Usumaki and Tevita Sugu get assistance to court. Both, like the other three Naboro prisoners, were beaten and tortured after they were recaptured.|
If the New Zealand Labour Party thinks yesterday's successful motion against the Suva regime is enough to prick consciences, it's wrong.
Phil Goff and the MPs who supported his motion condemning the violence in the video showing Iowane Benedito and a second man being beaten and tortured by plain clothed officers, will have to play hardball if they really want to be useful to Fiji citizens.
And they'll have to sniff out the bullshit, starting with a report the regime has sacked three Corrections Officers because of their supposed involvement in the Benedito torture video.
These officers did not lose their jobs over that assault, as has been incorrectly reported by New Zealand and Australian media.
The unnamed trio have, in fact, been discharged for breaches in the recapture of the five Naboro prisoners, the first of a number of prisoners to break out of jail last year.
The Naboro escapes were the most controversial and the most publicised, thanks to moles getting the story, which had shamefully been ignored by media, to Coupfourpointfive.
Sources say the Corrections' sackings were conveniently made public this week as a sop to calls for an investigation and as intended, immediately had some people assuming the regime was acting responsibly and investigating: it's not.
It hasn't even started looking into the Benedito torture and according to insiders is unlikely to.
Bainimarama and the regime have taken a clobbering over the video, even though supporters swear black and blue prisoners deserve what they get and the security forces are keeping us safe at night.
Still, New Zealand's parliament yesterday took a step in the right direction passing a motion against the systemic violence being perpetuated in Fiji as seen in the underground video.
The regime won't confirm it but there is a definite link between the way the Police Commissioner, Ioane Naivalurua, handled the escape and recapture of the prisoners from Naboro in September with that of Benedito two months later.
The fact is police, army and Corrections joined forces to track, capture and punish the escapees in what was a vengeful campaign, in the name of national security.
It is also likely that some of the men who assaulted Benedito and his companion also beat and tortured the Naboro prisoners: all five were so badly injured they were admitted to Colonial War Memorial Hospital, where they were kept in a private wing and tended only by military medics.
Army, police and now Corrections Officers have joined in an unholy alliance to act as one unit, to keep citizens in check. It is a clear abuse of power.
Other initiatives are underway to keep the heat on the regime but New Zealand and Phil Goff, Rupert Colville and the U.N, and Amensty International need to drive home the advantage and spearhead an investigation into human rights abuse in Fiji.
They must also get the U.N. to stop using Fiji peacekeepers.
Uncovering the abuse of the Naboro escapees will unlock the secrets of other abuse, especially that of the Benedito assault.
We have meanwhile established that the Amani Bosenawai accused of being one of the group of eight plain clothed officers in the Benedito video is PC 4344 AMANI BOSENAWAI, not Sergeant Amani Boseniwai 2711, as earlier identified by sources. We regret the error.
The Fijilive story on the sacking of the Corrections Officers.
The Fiji Prisons and Corrections Service said it will not make comments on whether the sacked Corrections officers have been referred to police in relation to the recent video published in a number of internet sites.
Spokesperson, Ana Tamani said she can only confirm that some officers have been fully discharged of their duties as a result of the video footage.
Tamani said they will not reveal how many officers have been sacked.
As reported early this morning, Fijivillage has received information that at least three Corrections officers were discharged from their duties late last week.
Tamani also said that the Corrections Service will not reveal the level of involvement of the sacked officers in the video showing two handcuffed men getting beaten up by a group of men.
She said they can only say that some officers have been sacked and no further comments will be made at this stage.
Meanwhile, Police spokesperson, Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri said investigations continue and no further comments will be made for now.
The government had earlier stated that the formal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the video recording of Fijian security personnel and recaptured prison escapees is continuing.
Motion against Fiji regime unanimously supported in New Zealand Parliament