Fiji Labour Party deplores the use of armed soldiers at Bau Island early this morning to arrest Ratu Epenisa Cakobau along with other supporters for questioning.
Whatever the merits of the case against Ratu Epenisa, it was a civil matter and should have been handled by the Police and not the RFMF.
A brief statement issued by Police Commissioner Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho merely stated that a team of officers were sent to Bau Island “at first light this morning to take in Ratu Epenisa Cakobau and key players for questioning”.
He makes no mention of the fact that soldiers carrying arms participated in the arrest.
Yet, photos of the incident posted on the social media clearly show soldiers carrying guns alongside police officers on Bau Island this morning.
One account speaks of them “first turning off the power to the house before they entered with guns and knives in the presence of children”.
The Police Commissioner owes the people an explanation as to why armed soldiers had to be used. Was he not confident of his officers handling the situation on their own?
Army Commander Viliame Naupoto should also explain whether he approved the participation of armed soldiers in this morning’s exercise. It has brought disrepute to the Army.
In a speech at the CWM Hospital today PM Bainimarama referred to “cowards who hide behind fake profiles” on the social media.
Well Mr PM, we saw another face of cowardice this morning: security forces hiding behind the guns to take unarmed civilians in for questioning!
The use of armed soldiers at Bau Island this morning is a clear indication that Fiji is a fascist state.
“It seems they will go to any length to crush their political opposition,” said Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry.