Fiji whistleblower attacked and left for dead
In August, businessman Rajneel Singh was left for dead after being attacked in his home by men in police uniform. Mr Singh had blown the whistle on what appeared to be an assassination plot against senior members of the Fiji government.
An internet cafe owner, Mr. Singh was first attacked and tortured, allegedly by security forces personnel, in November 2015. The assault came right after he alerted the authorities to a series of computer files he had discovered, which included purported plans to destabilise the government. Nobody was ever interviewed or brought to justice over this attack, despite the evidence available.
Responding to the second attack against Mr. Singh, Amnesty International’s Director for South East Asia and the Pacific stated:
'This is the second time that Rajneel Singh, a Fijian businessman who had alerted the authorities to politically sensitive computer files, has been attacked by men dressed in police uniforms in less than a year. This alarming development is the latest in a series of allegations of torture and other ill-treatment by the Fijian police.'
In a separate incident in mid-July, the police removed a West Papua Morning Star flag from the compound of the Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC) in Suva Fiji, allegedly after being alerted by a complaint from the Indonesian Embassy. The flag was an expression of PCC staff solidarity with the victims of human rights abuses in West Papua, a province of Indonesia. According to police sources, a political gathering was also prevented from taking place because PCC had received authorisation for a church service and not a political assembly or demonstration.