3 Feb 2011

PNG politician says gardens destroyed during border operation

9:51 am on 3 February 2011

A PNG politician says he's had reports that homes and gardens have been destroyed as part of a security crackdown along the border with the Indonesian province of Papua.

More than a hundred Papuans are said to have been arrested in Sunset Merona, a joint forces operation involving police, the defence force, immigration, customs and other government agencies.

The authorities, who're assessing the detainees for links with the Papua liberation movement or OPM, claim the operation was called for by local PNG residents and is being applauded.

But Powes Parkop says it's doing more harm than good and he's asked the Prime Minister to call it off.

"There's been reports of houses being destroyed and food gardens destroyed and people being detained and what I've called on the Prime Minister is that those people who've been arrested, if they've committed any criminal offence they should be charged. The law in PNG is very clear: you cannot detain people without charging them."

Governor Powes Parkop says there aren't enough police in PNG to deal with other more pressing problems and using them in the border oepration is a farce.