9 Jun 2016

Amnesty condemns PNG shooting of students

11:57 am on 9 June 2016

Amnesty International has condemned yesterday's police shooting of protesters in Papua New Guinea as a disgraceful attack on the freedoms of assembly and expression.

The NGO's director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Rafendi Djamin, said the shooting of students was reminiscent of the worst excesses of repressive regimes in the region.

Mr Djamin said prime minister Peter O'Neill's reaction, denying that police targeted students and only fired tear gas and warning shots, was completely inadequate.

He said Mr O'Neill's claims and statement that placed blame on the students directly contradicted several first-hand accounts of the violence.

Mr Djamin said Mr O'Neill should not seek to evade responsibility and instead establish a thorough, independent investigation instead of allowing authorities to investigate themselves.