SOMARE WARNS ABOUT ‘EROSION OF HUMAN RIGHTS’ IN PNG

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Comments come on the heels of Osborne deportation

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 4, 2012) – Papua New Guinea’s veteran politician, Sir Michael Somare, has warned against an erosion of human rights in PNG following last week’s sudden deportation of a New Zealand businessman, Graham Osborne.

Sir Michael, who maintains he is the legitimate prime minister, says leaders cannot pretend to be policemen, judges and jury incriminating people without trials or before investigations are started.

However, the government of Peter O’Neill has justified its action.

[PIR editor’s note: O'Neill has publicly stated Osborne was deported because he tried to appropriate funds intended for the national rugby team to compete in Australia through renovating PNG’s national stadium. The funds allegedly would have been put towards funding "political operations." PNG’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry has expressed disappointment and concern over the deportation, with representatives saying the government must respect the rule of law, calling attention to the possibility that Osborne's close associations with Somare may have been the impetus for his deportation.]

Sir Michael says Mr. Osborne’s home was invaded, his personal belongings searched and he was then immediately deported without any formal charges being laid.

Sir Michael says the actions against Mr. Osborne were to make way for a new political agenda of fear and intimidation.

He says the rival government is lying to the public by claiming it has started to weed out illegal aliens and clamp down on pedophiles.

Sir Michael says since it took office in August, no illegal aliens have been deported.

Mr. Osborne was alleged to have sought access to hundreds of thousands of dollars intended for PNG’s bid to get a team into the Australian National Rugby League competition.

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