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Vanuatu Mobile Force ‘not above the law’

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, March 18, 2010) - A Vanuatu Government MP has welcomed a report from the Coroner calling for sweeping changes to the culture of the police paramilitary unit, the Vanuatu Mobile Force.

In an inquest into the death of a man in custody, the Coroner Justice Nevin Dawson described the VMF as a force with a culture of violence.

He says the VMF considers itself above the law and the government needs to redefine its role.

MP Ralph Regenvanu says he is glad to see the report because it is addressing an issue that has been festering in Vanuatu for many years.

"The fact that there are elements within our Police Force and Vanuatu Mobile Force who have no respect for human rights, they think they are above the law. This has been mainly with regard to brutality against young people, against detainees. The way they deal with or do not deal with domestic violence."

Ralph Regenvanu is a Vanuatu government MP

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