5 Feb 2010

Operators of PNG's Porgera mine defend support for police following Amnesty report

5:06 pm on 5 February 2010

Papua New Guinea gold miner Porgera Joint Venture, or PJV, has criticised an Amnesty International report calling on the Government to investigate police atrocities near Enga province's Porgera mine.

Amnesty's report condemns police for illegally evicting and burning down the homes of permanent residents in the gold-rich area in an operation last year.

The report criticised the miner for supporting the current police deployment in the area which is a hub of illegal mining and criminal activity.

In a joint statement with its parent company Barrick Gold Corporation, PJV says it's committed to protecting human rights.

PJV and Barrick say they were not informed in advance of the police operation.

But they don't agree with Amnesty's recommendation that PJV withdraw its support for the current police deployment.

Meanwhile, Amnesty has questioned the impartiality of a proposed police investigation into the evictions after PNG's Police Commissioner dismissed allegations of police misconduct.