By Tokana Hasavi – EM TV, Port Moresby
Just months away from the most extravagant sporting event expected to light up the country; a dark shadow casts over one of the country’s disciplinary forces tasked to preserve law and order and maintain peace.
The Papua New Guinea Royal Constabulary has been heavily criticised by the nation, following last week’s Hanuabada killings at the hands of ‘rogue’ police personnel.
This atrocity falls into a backlog of previous and past cases of harassment and brutality, which have prompted calls from a variety of concerned parties to put an end to this senseless violence.
Today representatives from the National Council of Women and NCD Council of Women condemned the Hanuabada killings and called for proper police training, non-issuance of high powered firearms and a serious re-evaluation of the NCD betelnut ban, among other concerns.
The sentiment “Enough is enough” was fervently expressed by Kem Hesingut, an Executive of the NCD Council of Women.
It’s a sentiment, a cliché at best, that resonates through the grieving families at Hanuabada, existing victims of violence and the general public against the unacceptable pattern of police harassment and brutality, which has unfortunately become the norm in PNG’s society.
In support, General Secretary of the National Council of Women, Lily Tua, urged the Government to fast track the coronial inquest and put the perpetrators behind bars.
NCD Council of Women President, Maria Andrew also questioned the use of high-powered firearms by police, saying it was one of the major contributing factors that cause fear amongst the community.
These prominent women say the treatment, subjecting women to frisking or physically searching women is unwarranted.
They exclaimed that female vendors, particularly buai vendors, have been frisked improperly amounting to physical and sexual assault.
In recent times, police behaviour and enforcement have been deemed ambiguous to say the least, and at best, far from appropriate.
The women leaders have call for respect and a complete halt of harassment and brutality by police.
Yesterday, a coronial inquest was announced by the Government’s Chief Secretary, Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc, to establish findings of the Hanuabada killings and prosecute the culprits responsible.