Correctional Services Officers to Undergo Investigation

by Bethanie Harriman – EM TV News, Lae

Papua New Guinea’s Correctional Service Commissioner, Michael Waipo, says the correctional officers involved in the alleged beating of Lae Buimo detainees will be dealt accordingly following an internal investigation. 

The Lae based officers could be sacked, after a series of images understood to have been taken by inmates soon after the beatings in May, were sent anonymously to EMTV.  

These images are part of an anonymous appeal to have Commissioner Michael Waipo, Correctional Services Minister, Jimmy Simatab, and Prime Minister Peter O’Neill ook into alleged prisoner abuse happening throught the country’s prisons.

Domestic and international human rights laws safeguard the rights of prisoners in the PNG prison system. But those guidelines where brought into disrepute following the release of these images which showed numerous prisoners being violently attacked. 

Whilst attending a book launch at Lae’s Buimo Prison, Commander Waipo spoke about the images saying those officers involved will be dealt with after investigations.

“There is no room for that sort of behavior, and that incident will be investigated. We will get to the bottom of it and those responsible will be dealt with,” he said.

According to our sources, the images taken in May show at least three prisoners with wounds caused by Buimo correctional officers, after they where jailed over the killing of a policeman in Pindu.

About a month after these images were captured, a prisoner from one of the pictures reportedly escaped in a mass breakout and still remains on the run. 

A report in June stated that the breakout was triggered by poor living conditions at the prison, as well as the inapprpriate treatment being handed out by correctional officers.

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