19 Mar 2014

UN representative slams PNG violence record; calls for rights body

10:42 pm on 19 March 2014

A United Nations special rapporteur on unlawful killings says Papua New Guinea needs to create an efficient human rights body.

The special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, has just toured PNG.

Alex Perrottet has been reading his initial report.

"Christof Heyns says he documented all kinds of violence on his 12-day visit - killings after accusations of sorcery, domestic violence, tribal fighting, and excessive use of force by police and private security forces. He visited Port Moresby, Buka in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Goroka, Kundiawa, Lae, and Manus Island, where he met victims or their relatives. He says there needs to be more education on the right to life in PNG and the country must create an efficient national human rights institution. He also says the police should reform its Investigative Unit and coordinate with the legal profession. Mr Heyns described the Manus Island centre as a highly problematic situation where asylum seekers receive mixed messages on whether or not they'll be relocated and get refugee status. He called for the ongoing investigations there to be more transparent."