PNG POLICE BEAT VILLAGERS FOR SERVING SUMMONS

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By Yehiura Hriehwazi

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Mar. 10) - A village councilor and his elders were kicked and punched in the Wewak Police Station on Tuesday when they went in to serve a summons on police for alleged brutality in December last year.

Enraged by the incident, village youths were planning to storm the Yangoru Police Station yesterday, which prompted East Sepik provincial Police Commander Mr Leo Kabilo to personally take a two-hour drive to Yangoru to clam down the "very angry young men," a Wewak policeman told The National. 

Councillor Otto Waugi of Numboruon Village in Yangoru in East Sepik province was nursing bruises after the Tuesday incident. His cousin, who is a village elder and a pastor, Felix Kalimo, lost two teeth when he was kicked and punched by the policemen.

The Commander of Mamose police Assistant Commissioner Raphael Huafolo confirmed the attack yesterday but could not give details.

"I confirm what has happened and the PPC is investigating the matter," said Mr Huafolo.

Numerous calls were made to Deputy Police Commissioner (Operations) Gari Baki but he did not respond. 

Pastor Kalimo sent a formal letter of complaint to Mr Baki immediately after the incident outlining what had transpired in the Wewak Police Station. 

Several young men who accompanied Mr Waugi and Paster Kalimo to the police station were also roughed up. They had gone to serve originating summons on Wewak Police over attacks on villagers in Yangoru during December last year.

In a shocking case of police brutality, a man and his wife were forced by Wewak police to perform a sexual act in Yangoru police station while two men were also forced at gunpoint to have un-natural sex. 

Private lawyer Patrick Harricknen, who has so far sued police successfully for damages running into hundreds of thousands of kina, has prepared the summonses to be served on Wewak police.

A police prosecutor based in Wewak, Simon Hombigu, was named in yesterday’s complaint letter to Mr Baki for leading the attack on the villagers in Wewak on Tuesday.

The policemen refused to receive the summons from the villagers and instead turned their anger on the villagers.

March 11, 2004

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

 

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