POLICE HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION CITED IN SOLOMONS

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (SBIC, Mar 17) – The Solomon Islands government is being called on to recall police officers it sent to Yandina to provide security for International Comtrade Shipping Limited.

The call came from Marx Dona, an ICSL employee who alleged that the officers have been involved in harassment and intimidation of citizens.

Dona said such incidences include the indiscriminate firing of high powered guns.

He said he saw no reason why the government should provide the company with security now.

ICSL had requested security from the police when it took over the operations of RIPEL at the end of last year. Dona said ICSL feared that former workers of RIPEL would cause some disturbances to its operations

Dona said even at the height of the ethnic tension, the government had not sent security forces to areas in the Russell Islands, which accommodate a big Malaita population.

He claimed that the police officers have on a number of occasions fired their weapons indiscriminately when their salary payments did not get to Yandina on time.

Dona called on Prime Minister Allan Kemakeza to end the security arrangement with ICSL and recall those officers to Honiara.

He said Kemakeza was voted into power by workers of the former RIPEL and he should not be involved in arrangements that go against his own voters.

March 17, 2003

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation: http://www.sibconline.com.sb 

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