2 Jul 2010

Protestors over controversial PNG environmental law liable to be prosecuted

9:34 am on 2 July 2010

The Governor of Papua New Guinea's Madang province says organisers of a protest against the controversial environmental law amendment are liable to be prosecuted for being in contempt of court.

Sir Arnold Amet personally advised the organisers not to stage the protest, while the constitutionality of the amendment is before the Supreme Court.

Last week Attorney General Ano Pala issued a decree imposing a ban on any media discussion or public debate over the law change.

However the Madang protest went ahead , with organisers saying three thousand people marched.

Sir Arnold says this is not a case of government trying to stifle opposition.

"Courts will take offence at public, government or private citizens debating this subject matter - for or against - because it protects its independence. That's all that we were advising. It's not what the government is saying. People must understand that very clearly."