PNG activist claims evidence on police abuses

10:50 am on 25 April 2017

A rights activist arrested for allegedly spreading misinformation about abuses by Papua New Guinea police in Enga province says he has evidence to back him up.

PNG police on patrol

Photo: AFP

Out on bail after 30 hours in custody, McDiyan Robert Yapari said police abused him for defaming them about their alleged role in unrest at Enga's Porgera gold mine.

Last week Mr Yapari said a person was fatally shot and another critically wounded in another attack at the mine.

According to him, police officers hired by Canadian company Barrick were responsible for more forced evictions and attacks on people settling near the mine.

"I am backed with evidence: medical reports, the statements of the victims," Mr Yapari said.

"And even with ther forced evictions, there was no warrant (for the eviction) issued by the Porgera District Court.

"The Porgera District Court wrote to me and confirmed that they have no knowledge of that," he said.

Mr Yapari said he is to face court on a charge of spreading misleading information.

He said even the police station commander confirmed that no notice was given to him by the police mobile squad, as required, before its men went and carried out the forced eviction process.

He said the mobile squad were over the top and burnt down a number houses in a continuation of the violence and rapes meted out to people deemed illegal settlers on the mine.

Mr Yapari has written again to Barrick management to complain.

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