4 Feb 2010

PNG police chief claims Amnesty on Porgera evictions fabricated

3:22 pm on 4 February 2010

Papua New Guinea's police commissioner dismisses evidence in an Amnesty International report into alleged illegal police evictions at a mine as fabricated.

Last year, police conducted an operation to restore law and order around the Porgera gold mine.

Amnesty International has now released a report, saying the police illegally evicted people and burned down homes, while holding the permanent residents at gunpoint.

Amnesty is calling for an independent investigation.

Police Commisioner, Gari Baki, defends the action of his men and maintains that they burnt down 50 illegal shacks to clamp down on illegal mining activities.

"My honest view about this is that it has been fabricated. Knowing the mentality of the highlands people, you expect these kinds of things to happen. When you have disagreement with something that happens over there, you use every opportunity to discredit anything that takes place. Particularily in regards to violence and tribal fights. You never know these people that claim to be victims could be victims of tribal fights."

Gari Baki says he might order a police investigation into those claims to refute them.