23 Feb 2007

Transparency Solomons warns of police state risks

4:51 pm on 23 February 2007

Transparency Solomon Islands says there is conjecture the Manasseh Sogavare government may be trying to establish a police state.

The government has announced it intends re-arming units of the police and TSI believes it aims to achieve this by appointing a compliant police commander to replace the dumped Shane Castles.

TSI's executive officer, Joses Tuhanuku, says the vast majority of Solomon Islanders is opposed to the police being re-armed.

He says there is no need for an armed unit and there is speculation that the government is working towards something like a police state.

"The way the government is behaving there is speculation that they are going to use this special unit, that is supposed to be the prime minister's bodyguards or security people, to intimidate political opponents of the government or the prime minister and I think it is goving to be used to suppress freedom of speech, freedom of the press and so on."

Joses Tuhanuku