31 May 2006

Activists in PNG harassed by Malaysian logging company

7:47 pm on 31 May 2006

Greenpeace activists say security guards working at Malaysian logging giant Rimbunan Hijau's Papua New Guinea capital compound overreacted to the company being presented a so-called Golden Chainsaw award.

Six activists were harassed and unlawfully detained in their vehicles by security guards outside the company's Port Moresby compound before police escorted them to safety.

A cameraman was reportedly assaulted and his camera broken and verbal threats were made after the company had been presented with the award which highlights forest destruction.

Greenpeace campaign director Danny Kennedy says the way they were being held indicates Rimbunan's disdain for the law which he says is reflected in its logging operations in PNG.

"Rimbunan Hijau's the largest operator in PNG and intimately involved in the majority of forest destruction here. There are many cases and alleged problems with their practices around the country so if there's a number one, pin-up, poster child, it's them."

Danny Kennedy says no charges have been laid.