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PNG blasted for police brutality

PNG police assault a man. Still from a video uploaded by emtv.com.pg

PNG police assault a man. Still from a video uploaded by emtv.com.pg

Lisa Martin

Canberra [AAP]

Papua New Guinea has been lashed over police brutality in the Human Rights Watch annual world report.

In June last year, police opened fire on protesting university students in the capital Port Moresby, wounding 23 people.

The students had been attempting to march to the national parliament to call for a no-confidence motion in Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, who is facing corruption allegations.

The report said police abuse continues in PNG with little accountability, even in cases involving fatalities.

Between 2007 and 2014, there had been 1600 complaints but it’s unclear if any cases had resulted in criminal convictions against police officers.

The report was also critical of the PNG government’s efforts to crack down on violence against women and children, and the dire lack of services for survivors.

PNG is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be female, with the majority experiencing rape or assault during their lifetimes.

The report noted instances of mob violence against individuals accused of sorcery and witchcraft.

In one case, a family of four was killed and in a separate incident, a woman’s hand was chopped off.

The Manus Island immigration detention centre also raised the ire of Human Rights Watch.

The centre has been slated for closure but no time frame has been set so far.

‘Closing the centre on Manus once and for all, and promptly resettling the refugees to Australia or suitable third countries needs to be a top priority for Australia and Papua New Guinea,’ spokeswoman Elaine Pearson said.

She said the refugees and asylum seekers had suffered enough and deserved an opportunity to live in safety and dignity.


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