PNG students take stock after carnage

5:56 pm on 9 June 2016

Papua New Guinea university students have signalled they will continue to boycott classes in their ongoing protest against Prime Minister Peter O'Neill.

However, for now the student representatives are taking stock of the carnage from yesterday's unrest when police opened fire on students at the University of Papua New Guinea's Waigani Campus in Port Moresby.

Police said 23 people were injured, including five critically, in the unrest, which came after police refused to allow students to walk to parliament.

Stephen Lichas was chased and shot by Papua New Guinea police when he fled the University of PNG's Waigani Campus after they opened fire on hundreds of students

Stephen Lichas was chased and shot by police when he fled the University of PNG's Waigani Campus after officers opened fire on hundreds of students. Photo: Supplied

Most of those injured were students, understood to have been shot by police. No deaths have been reported yet.

Students had been boycotting classes and protesting since the start of May, demanding that Mr O'Neill stand aside to face fraud allegations.

The university last night obtained a court order that disallowed students from taking actions which "are contrary to their enrolment", banning them from making further protests.

Student Representatives Council member Hercules Jim said for now the campus was calm and the council was planning for the student body to meet.

"Calling all the provincial leaders who represent each students in their own group to come and raise their views and see what is the next course of action, like we used to do. But that will take another two to three days.

"But first of all now we are working around the clock to secure and get the names of students who have been injured and see who is missing and all this. But the police are still present on the campus regardless."

He said, although university management had urged a return to class as the semester resumed this month, the student body at large would not back down on its demand for Mr O'Neill's resignation.

UPNG student rally at the Waigani Campus.

University of PNG student rally at the Waigani Campus (file) Photo: UPNG4PNG

Manus detainees moved

Meanwhile, a Manus Island detainee in Port Moresby for medical treatment said he was afraid for his safety following the unrest.

Siyavash Shakibnia and 16 other detainees are being kept at a hotel in the city while they receive hospital care.

Mr Shakibnia said he and two other detainees were in hospital yesterday when students shot by police arrived by ambulance.

"Suddenly they came and took out us very immediately and took us in the family motel. We were over there for three hours, after the situation a little calm down, they took us in our hotel.

"And then yesterday the police shooting on the student at university. That's why we are so scared maybe something happen here, and that nobody is gonna protect us."

Mr Shakibnia said one security guard and two supervisors were taking care of the 17 Manus Island detainees in Port Moresby.

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