Like every Fijian, we were disturbed to see the video that has emerged of what appears to be the abuse of two men who, at this stage, we understand to be recaptured prisoners.
A thorough investigation to establish the circumstances of this incident has been ordered.
We want to stress from the outset that no-one should prejudice this investigation by speculating on what happened. We need to formally establish the precise facts and we are determined to do so.
At this stage, what we can say is that some of the international reporting on this incident is wrong. We know that the men who appear in this video are not the prisoners who escaped from Naboro last year. We have already established this.
Let us also state that the Fijian security agencies have worked tirelessly over the past few years to give protection and security to ordinary Fijians who suffered through constant home evasions, robberies and violent and wanton crimes. These crimes were perpetrated by a group of criminals with impunity and who had absolutely no regard for lives of ordinary Fijians, respect for basic human dignity and the law.
That said, what is on the video requires investigation. The procedure of investigation we will follow is similar to those followed when complaints have been lodged against police officers in other jurisdictions such as Australia, South Africa, USA and New Zealand.
Therefore, we are not prepared to speculate on the identities of those involved, again so as not to prejudice the investigation. But we can assure you all that we are determined to expeditiously resolve this issue and indeed our investigations have already commenced.