1 Sep 2005

New York-based human rights group accuses PNG police of brutal attacks on children

10:22 am on 1 September 2005

A New York-based human rights group claims that Papua New Guinea police are engaging in brutal beatings, rape and torture of children and risk spreading HIV/Aids.

The 124 page report from Human Rights Watch details an epidemic of police brutality against children who are arrested or detained by a police force which it describes as riddled with corruption, low morale and poor resources.

The report claims boys and girls are being shot, knifed, kicked, and forced to chew and swallow condoms.

It says eyewitnesses describe pack rapes in police stations, vehicles, barracks and other locations.

An internal review of PNG police in March found rampant corruption in the force, with police involved in executions and the burning of villages as pay-back.

The author of the Human Rights Watch report told the Reuters news agency that a police culture of violence against children in PNG was among the worst in the developing world.