PNG Police Allegedly Sever Captives’ Achilles

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Morobean men consented to be escorted to police station

By Todagia Kelola

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, May 28, 2013) – The top hierarchy of Papua New Guinea’s police force has been urged to investigate a barbaric act by police in the National Capital District (NCD) on 30 men who were apprehended for carrying offensive weapons in public.

The 30 men from Morobe were allegedly ordered to lie down on the ground and three policemen armed with bush knives started severing the Achilles tendons of the men.

The Gordon’s police cells where the 30 men were taken to according to eyewitnesses looked like an abattoir with bloodied men lying in their own blood.

The incident occurred on Sunday after an incident the previous day at Eight-Mile settlement where a young Morobean youth was allegedly stabbed to death by a suspect from Sepik.

Members of the community on Saturday carried the body and placed it in the middle of the field for the community to see.

Angered by the killing, the community mobilized and burnt down seven houses belonging to Sepiks.

Police were called in to investigate both incidents.

On Sunday after much negotiation the Police station commander for Gordon’s Inspector John Tarur and Chief Sergeant Yosman eased the tension.

Morobeans who had mobilized and been seen carrying bush knives were disarmed by Gordon’s Police who proceeded to march them towards Gordons where they could be charged.

The group of alleged suspects for "carrying bush knives" was told to walk to Gordon’s Police station because of transport problems by police. The suspects volunteered to walk under escort by police.

However at the end of the airport, a Highway Patrol land cruiser and a 10-seater drove alongside them and ordered everyone on the ground.

Whilst they were lying face down on the ground three policemen took out bush knives from the police vehicle and started severing their Achilles tendons.

The actions of the policemen will not go down well with their hierarchy and the Police Minister who has come out in public against such actions of individual policemen which has tainted the entire constabulary’s image.

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