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OPPOSITION CONDEMNS COMMENTS

The Opposition strongly condemned the Internal Security Minister, Peter Tsiamalili Jnr’s comments published on Post Courier this week on the case of West New Britain’s 16 escapees on Sunday.  

The Internal Security Minister made the comment saying that officers were justified to shoot to death 16 escapees at the Lakiemata Prison, West New Britain. 

Opposition Leader and Member for Kandrian  Gloucester, Joseph Lelang  deemed the comment as irresponsible and insensitive to grieving families and will only serve to encourage police brutality against citizens of this country.

Lelang called on the Minister to clarify if the “shoot to kill” policy was from the government or from his own opinion. 

Additionally, the Opposition leader made mention that there were allegations made accusing police of brutality and cold blood execution of six of the seven escapees that had surrendered at a remote beach in West New Britain Province.

Lelang strongly recommends investigation into this as such allegations in addition to Tsiamalili’s comments are very concerning given the seriousness of the situation back in West New Britain.  

He pointed out that prisoners are ought to have been recaptured and returned to prison and not killed execution style.

He calls on the government to immediately set up an independent enquiry into the killing and allegations concerning the killings of the escapees as 16 deaths was a big enough number to overlook.

Meanwhile, according to the Talasea District Development Authority, of the 24 escapees involved in the breakout on Sunday 23rd of April, at the Lakiemata Prison in West New Britain Province, 17 are shot dead, one is severely injured and is in the hospital, while 7 are still at large.  

Although PNG Correctional Service Commissioner, Stephen Pokanis labelled the deaths as “shocking”, he added that such was the outcome of the rise in prison breaks.

Apart from this recent break, the last prison break recorded from Lakiemata was in October of last year where 26 escapees were involved.   

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