Friday, 25 February 2011 10:16 AM

Australian Citizen Claims Assault by Fiji Military

An Australian citizen of Fijian descent has made claims that he was assaulted by soldiers of the Fijian Military when he visited the country last year.

According to a news report by Radio Australia, 66 year old Apisai Tawake claims the assault took place when he visited Fiji in December of last year.

According to the report Mr. Tawake 'has made public statements in Australia opposing some of the political developments in Fiji since the 2006 military coup led by military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama' but 'he says he had no concerns for his safety when he returned to the country to see friends and family over the Christmas period'.

With the ongoing censorship of the media in Fiji, many blogs have appeared attempting to report what they claim are the real events going on in Fiji that the mainstream media have not been allowed to report.
These blogs have all been reporting on alleged beatings and assaults being made by the Fiji military on its citizens who oppose the current regime led by military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, and the claims made by Mr. Tawake are among these reports.

One of the blogs, Coupfourandahalf, actually has a document which they claim is the Statutory Declaration by Mr. Tawake detailing the beatings he received at the hands of the military with allegations that the military commander knew of his assault as it was happening.

Since the military coup in 2006, there have been regular reports surfacing about people being taken to the military barracks for interrogation and alleged brutal assaults for committing what have been perceived as pro-democracy actions or for speaking out against the ruling regime.
However, due to the ongoing media censorship by the ruling regime, it has been extremely difficult to ascertain whether the allegations are correct.