PNG Doctors Threaten Strike Action After Alleged Police Assault

Metropolitan Superintendent: officers involved in the alleged assault were being dealt with by the police internal affairs department

By Rebecca Kuku And Ogia Miamel

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, June 09, 2017) – Doctors are planning to go on strike today if the police fail to discipline the officers who allegedly assaulted a medical officer on May 31 in Port Moresby.

National Doctors Association president James Naipao said doctors would stop work at 3pm today if the officers involved in the assault of Dr Newman Berry were not disciplined.

They want the officers involved to be charged and dismissed.

“Doctors help people on a 70,000 to one ratio,” he said.

“For police officers to assault a doctor is just unacceptable.”

Of about 850 doctors registered in the country, 550 are members of the association.

Naipao said things had come to a stage where people should just not let such incidents happen without saying anything.

He urged the Government to take seriously police brutality cases against citizens.

“The six months of police training officers go through is not enough,” Naipao said.

“Officers don’t know the very law they are trying to enforce.

“That is where all these police brutality come in.”

National Capital District Metropolitan Superintendent Benjamin Turi said the officers involved in the alleged assault were being dealt with by the police internal affairs department.

“I met with Robert Ali, director of internal affairs, and submitted the names of the officers this afternoon (yesterday),” Turi said.

“They will be investigated and charged.”

Ali confirmed that they were investigating the matter.

The incident happened near the June Valley Primary School at around 9pm when Berry was driving back to the medical faculty after dropping off some family members.

Berry said he had a flat tyre and stopped to contact relatives living nearby for help.

But police, who arrived in a vehicle, accused of him being involved with rascals and began assaulting him, he said.

The National
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