23 Mar 2012

PNG students protest in Port Moresby over controversial Judical Conduct law

2:44 pm on 23 March 2012

University students in Papua New Guinea's capital say they are prepared to defy police orders in their protest against the Judicial Conduct Bill.

The law, introduced on Tuesday and passed by a vote of 63-7 on Wednesday, effectively gives government the power to suspend a judge.

An estimated 2,500 students from the University of PNG have boycotted classes today and plan to occupy the grounds of parliament.

The chief of police operations for the National Capital District, Andy Bawa, has told the students that due to security provisions around the country's political impasse, police cannot allow the planned action at parliament to go ahead.

Protest organiser Nou Vada says Lieutenant Bawa has suggested arranging for the Prime Minister Peter O'Neill to come to the campus and address the students.

"It's a very rowdy situation right now at the campus. Students want to march, they want to march. Crowd noises in background. And I guess you can hear the screaming in the background here - they're objecting to suggestions made by Lieutenant Bawa and right now there are a lot of pissed off students here."

Nou Vada