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By Staff Reporter : PNG Today

Over 220 international signatures calling for end to student repression in PNG

Australia: International solidarity continues to grow for the student movement in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

A sign-on letter calling for an immediate end to repression of the student movement has already received over 220 international signatories from academics, unionists, NGOs, students, public servants and business people.

Union Aid Abroad-Australian People for Health, Education and Development Abroad (APHEDA) executive officer Kate Lee states: “APHEDA strongly supports students’ democratic right to freedom of expression and peaceful process. We condemn the ongoing repression of PNG students and their supporters. Many have been in hiding since the shootings by police on June 8th, fearing further repression and arrest.”

Initial signatories to the international letter include the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Human Rights Institute, Colombia Law School (USA), Samoa Workers Congress, South Pacific & Oceania Council of Trade Unions, Vanuatu Council of Trade Unions, Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association, New Zealand Tertiary Education Union, and Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA (Australia), the global solidarity arm of the Australian union movement.

Representing over 5000 students at the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) in Port Moresby, Student Representative Council (SRC) president, Kenneth Rapa, says: “We have been suppressed since the beginning of our protests by the UPNG administration. From the denial of referendums to the invasion of our privacy by police, one-sided media propaganda and unreasonable and unlawful evictions of students from campus, suspension of classes aimed at causing division, etc.”

In Rapa’s recent press statement, he calls for an end to the continued repression of student leaders; including violence, restraining orders, arrests and arbitrary detention, preventing them from containing violence between students and UPNG administration on June 23 and 24.

Patricia Bausch, a Melanesian human rights and social justice activist, and educator based in Cairns, Australia, states: “It is imperative all repression towards PNG student leaders, like SRC president Kenneth Rapa, is immediately stopped. This will allow Kenneth and the SRC to lead in peaceful negotiations and reconciliation between the students and the university administration to ensure the education of the students.” Press Release

Posted by Staff Reporter : PNG Today on 5:04 AM. Filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Share this Article

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