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Somare condemns Police actions in detaining University students in Wewak

The Governor of East Sepik Sir Michael Somare expressed outrage at the actions of police towards students and the public on Monday 30 May 2016 in Wewak. Sir Michael said, “It is despicable that leaders are abusing their office by instructing the police to carry out their dirty deeds. Your
role is to provide a safe and secure environment for our people.

“I want the public to know that Sepik students from Unitech and UPNG came home to the province and informed me of their intentions to not only inform their parents of their suspension but also to inform the people of East Sepik of the events taking place in our country.

“They requested the participation of the Provincial Police Commander Chief Superintendent Peter Philip at the meeting which took place over the weekend. They requested my presence and that of the Deputy Governor Ian Samuel and we both obliged. Unfortunately the PPC did not
turn up for the meeting.

“Subsequently, I learnt on Monday 30 May that my staff member, students and two prominent residents had been rounded up and charged by police.
“I drove up to the station and was appalled by the sight of heavily armed policemen and around 20 police cars lining the road leading up to the station.
“As a senior member of parliament, I want to remind members of the Royal PNG Constabulary that your responsibility is towards public safety. You are not there to carry out arrests on innocent students
and the public at the whim of politicians.
“I thank all the concerned market vendors, women, young people and the general public who reached into their pockets that afternoon to provide bail money for those who were rounded up and thrown into police custody.

“I hope that proper arrest procedures were followed in the lock up of these individuals as this would be a serious breach of Constitutional duties and responsibilities as members of the RPNGC.
“Our province and its Capital, Wewak, must remain a safe and secure environment for our people. We are not a police state and this display of aggression towards unarmed and peaceful citizens is unwarranted and not welcomed in the East Sepik,” said Sir Michael

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