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Man relives ordeal

July 15, 2016

Felix Chaudhary
Thursday, July 14, 2016

ONE of the three men caught allegedly cultivating marijuana by a team of police and military officers in 2009 says he still does not understand why they were tortured and then forced to walk for six hours to a village to be transported to hospital.

He also claimed the security forces team used racially derogatory remarks while torturing him because they thought he was a Fijian of Indian descent. Jim Kusi, a resident of Sigatoka, claimed he still had trouble sleeping because of the trauma invoked by the combined police and military squad.

“I had already admitted to them that we were looking after the farm and we were all prepared to go and face court over any charges but what they did to us that evening is something I will never forget,” the 47-year-old shared.

“It was sometime in June. Because we were up in the highlands, we had no idea there was an operation to sweep for drug farms. Around dusk as we were preparing to have tea, about seven or eight men attacked us.”

“All we could see was police and military uniforms as they began punching and kicking us and using sticks to poke us,” Mr Kusi alleges.

“I was expecting to get a beating because of what we were doing, but what I did not expect was for one of the police officers to pour the boiling water from the kettle over my body.

“And while I was screaming in pain, they poked sticks into my back and were laughing as they did it. They must have thought I was Indian because they used very foul language against my mother and kept saying they were doing it because I was a ‘kai dia’.”

Mr Kusi alleged he and the other two victims were tied up like animals as the beating continued.

“One of the men used burning ember to burn off my long hair while the others laughed. After that they tied our hands together and made us walk for six hours to a village.

“We were taken to hospital and kept isolated from other patients. While I was in hospital, a man came to me with some papers.

“He said they had the right to kill me and do whatever they wanted with me because I was growing drugs.

“He forced me to sign some papers and then I never saw him again,” he claimed.

Mr Kusi spent a few weeks in hospital recovering from severe burns, cuts to his back and bruising all over his body before being released. He now stays at home and looks after his four young children.

Source FT; Posted by W.Varani for SWM

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