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PNG Opposition leader Pruaitch on APEC security Act

Papua New Guinea Opposition Leader Patrick Pruaitch said the special security legislation passed for APEC is an indictment on the local police and creates more of a risk to the people and sovereignty of the nation.

In a statement he said they have seen the government bend over backwards to host the APEC leaders meeting which will take place next month.

The Opposition leader added that an estimated 2 billion Kina has been spent in Port Moresby alone at the expense of the people’s welfare, security and interest.

Mr Pruaitch said the nation is now further insulted by this legislation that does not safeguard the rights of its people in the event that any citizen be injured or worse still be killed.

He questioned, what country opens itself up to allow private security personnel (section 14 of the Act) and foreign forces to take pot shots at its citizens?

He highlighted that the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Safety and Security Act 2017, Section 46 subsection 1 states: “A member of the foreign safety and security personnel shall not be held civilly liable or criminally responsible for acts or omissions carried out in accordance with Section 43 and for the purposes of the Act.”

He added that Section 43 subsection 3 states, “The involvement of foreign safety and security personnel in safety and security operations may include the engagement and use of capabilities, and the capabilities may include, but are not limited to, weapons, vehicles, aircraft and maritime vessels.”

Meanwhile, former PNG Defence Force commander has expressed serious concerns with the latest version of the APEC Safety and Security Act 2017.

The National Government had recently passed a legislation which gives unprecedented powers to foreign forces and security personnel to protect visiting leaders during the APEC summit in November.

Major General Jerry Singirok had said the engagement of foreign forces directly violates the country constitution.

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