Arrested doctor claims Fiji police acted ‘irresponsibly’ over covid safety rules

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Dr Jone Hawea (left) and Ashwin Raj.
Dr Jone Hawea (left) and Fiji Human Rights Anti-Discrimination Commission director Ashwin Raj ... allegations over arrest. Image: FT Online

Asia Pacific Report newsdesk

Arrested medical practitioner Dr Jone Hawea has claimed that Fiji police officers acted irresponsibly by not following to covid-19 safety protocols and exposed him to transmission of the disease, reports The Fiji Times.

Fiji Human Rights Anti-Discrimination Commission director Ashwin Raj reported this after a commission team visited Dr Hawea at Totogo Police Station in Suva on Thursday, following his arrest in Lautoka on Tuesday.

He has since been released.

Dr Hawea was being questioned and investigated for allegedly sharing misinformation regarding covid-19.

Raj said Dr Hawea was in sound health, but had expressed concerns about his safety and his right to health.

“He [Dr Hawea] has questioned the rationale behind his transfer from Lautoka Police Station to Totogo when the Suva-Nausori corridor, as he described to the commission, is a “hot spot” for covid positive cases,” Raj said.

‘Risk of transmission’
“He stated that some police officers acted irresponsibly by not adhering to the covid-19 safety protocols and exposing him to risk of transmission.”

Raj also confirmed Dr Hawea had access to legal counsel. Questions sent to police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro remained unanswered.

Fijivillage News reports that Dr Hawea had been released from police custody on Thursday night.

The news website reported that the police stated that ordinary Fijians got arrested during curfew hours and Dr Hawea was no exception.

Republished with permission.

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