"I was on the cement floor lying face down receiving blows to my back and head and my head being stepped on by a boot the soldier whom I identified as Penioni Naliva was armed with a M16 rifle and I was shocked when I felt the metal barrel of the gun forcing my shorts down from the hip exposing my buttocks and to my horror he attempted to force the point of the gun into my rear end. "
|UNDESERVED: Former government minister Sam Speight at Redcliffe Hospital in Brisbane.|
On the Unlawful Detention and Torture
Of Samisoni Speight Tikoinasau
(Deposed Member of Parliament Fiji)
on 21st February 2011-23rd February 2011
Monday 21st February 2011
On the evening of Monday the 21st of February 2011 at approximately 2215hrs I was at our SDL party Head Office in Suva when a group of men arrived and called for me to come out of the office. The men were in civilian clothes and I was ordered to get into a waiting utility vehicle. There were other collegues of mine present when I was apprehended and whose identities I will not disclose for obvious reasons.
I was seated at the rear seat between two men one on either side of me. In front were the driver and a man in the passenger seat. The driver then spoke to someone on his mobile and then I was whisked away. After a twenty minute ride I saw that we were approaching the route to the Fiji military barracks at Delainabua, Suva and soon after we arrived at the top entrance to the military camp at around 2240 hrs. As we entered the gate the vehicle stopped and I was told to disembark. I was then led to the guard house where there are holding cells and to one of which I was placed.
There was nothing said to me at all as to why I was being detained and as I settled into the cell I began to survey my surroundings. The cell measured roughly four feet by five feet by ten foot high with a grated window at the six foot mark of the wall. The cell was concrete in nature with a thin single sponge mattress of dirty condition with no pillow or warm cover. The walls were also dirty.
Late on Monday evening a soldier came to the door of the cell and began asking me about a certain DVD. He threatened me verbally with the intention to harm me.
Tuesday 22nd February 2011
I spent the whole day in the cell with virtually no meals and without a shower. There was no movement that evening and as it approached midnight I decided to go to sleep.
Wednesday 23rd February 2011
At around 0300 hrs I was sharply awoken by loud shouting and the feel of boots to my head. I was ordered to crawl on my stomach along the narrow corridor towards the guard room. As I was crawling severe verbal abuse and kicks were directed at me until I was lying on the floor (on my stomach) of the guard room proper. These men numbered five or six in total with a few of them wearing scarves to conceal their faces.
They then proceeded to interrogate me about the existence of a certain DVD containing material that was in their view critical of the military regime. I acknowledged the existence of the DVD and they continued to exert more pressure in the form of torture tactics in their efforts to ascertain the source of the DVD and to whom I had passed the discs on to.
As I was lying on the concrete floor hot water was poured beside my hips and legs to intimidate me and the continued use of an M16 rifle butt on my back and head. There was no let up in the torrent of abuse and threats to kill me. I was at one stage made to sit on a chair where I was slapped and punched. I was made to lay my hands on a table where they proceeded to bend all of my fingers and thumbs backwards to almost breaking point resulting in excruciating pain. With the blows to my face and head I experienced moments of dizziness. As part of this assault one of them had armed himself with a chair and threatened to smash it on me. I was then dragged outside the guard house onto the road and ordered to run along the road in the camp and then to run onto a field which I presume to be a parade ground. The soldier ordering me to do this was in possession of an iron road barricade shaped as an X.
As I returned to the guardroom I received more blows and swear and abuse of a very violent nature. An extremely disturbing and humiliating element of the violent treatment that I was receiving was the incident where as I was on the cement floor lying face down receiving blows to my back and head and my head being stepped on by a boot the soldier whom I identified as Penioni Naliva was armed with a M16 rifle and I was shocked when I felt the metal barrel of the gun forcing my shorts down from the hip exposing my buttocks and to my horror he attempted to force the point of the gun into my rear end. I immediately turned over and asked him what was he trying to do and to which he responded by swearing and confirming his intentions. I struggled to my feet and was further assaulted. I heard one of the assailants cautioning the others to be careful that I did not incur any visible injury. I interpreted this as their efforts in trying to conceal the physical abuse that was being inflicted upon me.
The assault and interrogation seemed to last forever and the swear words used in the Fijian language were of the most degrading imaginable. This continued until I was ordered to go back to the cell and they left. A military police on duty came to see how I was and apologised for the treatment that I had received. I asked him what the time was and was told it was around 0420 hrs. During the course of Wednesday the 23rd I was not given any medical treatment and I did not eat anything. I felt that my face was swollen and bruised with swelling to my fingers that were subjected to bending; I had very severe and sharp head pains to my neck, back and body. There was also swelling sustained to my head.
At around 2230 hrs on the Wednesday evening the military police on duty informed me that they had been advised that I was to be released. One of the men who had been part of the beatings and interrogation appeared and warned me not to engage or try and do anything to oppose the regime and that next time I would be taken out of the camp in a coffin. He swore at me and told me to find my own way home.
I walked out of the military camp and made my way slowly to the main road being careful to try and avoid traffic coming out of the camp in case they changed their mind to have me re-detained. My family picked me up from lower mead road and from there I asked to be taken to the hospital in Suva. There was no resident doctor however I was attended to briefly by a contracted intern who gave me a pain killing injection. I left the hospital at around 0130 hrs in a disorientated state was taken to Nadi airport to catch a flight to Australia for further medical treatment and to avoid further illegal persecution.
Thursday 24th February 2011
I arrived in Brisbane Australia on the morning of Thursday the 24th of February 2011 and was taken to Redcliffe Hospital for medical checks.
Whilst resting at Redcliffe Hospital, I received information from Fiji that officers of the regime had been out searching for me again.
Friday 25th February 2011, Brisbane Australia
I was informed on Friday the 25th of February by associates in Suva, that the SDL Party headquarters was raided by the police searching for Pro-Democracy Information. Following the raid, the office was shut down on orders of the military regime.
Despite the regime’s efforts to stifle the work of the SDL Party and its supporters, I am certain that our campaign to pursue the restoration of democracy in Fiji will only become stronger both in Fiji and from overseas. I have also been reliably informed that I will be at great risk of being further detained by the regime should I return to Fiji.
The death threats, extreme verbal abuse, violence, humiliation, intimidation and trauma experienced at the hands of Fiji’s unlawful military dictatorship over the 3 nights and two days of unlawful detention without any avenue for legal redress is an experience that will remain with me and my family and one that I hope others will never ever be subjected to.
*NOTE - The two soldiers who were identifiable to me out of the six and who were responsible for the beatings, interrogation and abuse were one Penioni Naliva and Siwatibau Rabuka. I was informed by sources within the military camp that these soldiers are part of a special HIT SQUAD acting under the direct orders of Frank Bainimarama.
I want to thank family and friends for their concerns and prayers and those associates who facilitated the passage to Australia.
My humble appreciation to the medical staff at Redcliffe Hospital, Brisbane for the excellent medical care and clearances that was rendered to me.
Editor's Note: Coupfourpointfive would like to thank the family of Sam Speight for sharing this important information with us in the interest of exposing the unjustified and illegal treatment of Fiji citizens at the hands of military soldiers. We apologise for the need to use the photographs and the revelations in such an explicit manner, again in the interest of discrediting once and for all the denials of the RFMF and the regime regarding its treatment of Sam Speight and others. Vinaka Vaka Levu.