29/08/2013 19:51

Chief Ombudsman willing to become PNG Human Rights watchdog

28 AUG 2013. Papua New Guinea new Chief Ombudsman Atty. Rigo Lua doesn’t see the need for the creation of a new government agency tasked with the promotion, supervision and implementation of human rights in the country. “The Ombudsman Commission – he said at a Human Rights Symposium hosted by Divine Word University in Madang today - already has a supervisory role on the validity and implementation of the legislation and the leadership code; provide better support to the Commission and the task of upholding human rights can be carried out effectively”.

Former Chief Justice Sir Arnold Amet, however, also a member of the panel, pointed at the fact that while in principals all government agencies and institutions should converge on the same purpose of promoting human rights, on the other hand reciprocal rivalry, lack of coordination and shortage of human resources cripple the justice system and leave common citizen hopeless in the face of all sorts of abuses.

Sir Arnold vehemently attacked widespread police practice of rounding up people, beating suspects, enforcing extrajudicial killings, damaging properties and burning houses. “These ill practices are so widespread – he said - that people believe that police have the right to do so, while only the courts can pronounce a person guilty and inflict punishment according to the law”. (www.cbcpngsi.orggiorgiolicini@yahoo.com)