4 Jun 2014

PNG police defend Paga Hill resettlement

6:38 pm on 4 June 2014

The Papua New Guinea police have denied residents were forcibly evicted from a popular squatter settlement in Port Moresby.

Earlier this week 300 residents were moved from Upper Paga Hill to alternate land at Six Mile in Port Moresby, and police had praised the Paga Hill Development Company, which provided transport and removal services.

But Dr Kristian Lasslett, from the International State Crime Initiative, says residents have a different version of events and were forced out well before the deadline handed down by the courts.

Dr Lasslett, who provided photos showing damage to the houses, says police and other men were armed with bush knives and axes, and threatened to cut people who took pictures.

But the police spokesperson, Dominic Kakas, says the allegations are untrue.

"There was no force involved, we didn't force anyone out of there. We talked to them and they willingly moved out. If they saw axes and bush knives, they were brought in to chop down the trees and the growth, vegetation on that hill."

Dominic Kakas.