Human Rights

Security guaranteed for Walk for Life

NCD Governor Powes Parkop stated this in a conference with media earlier this morning at the City Hall office.

Parkop was referring to the recent incident that occurred during the Walk for Life program last Sunday which saw opportunists attack and assault motorists at different locations in the city.

Describing the incident as regrettable, Parkop said this will not make him stop the Walk for Life program that has been going on for two years already.

Manager for Active City program, Fazilah Bazari, says they have taken security as a big major issue.

Sorcery allegations victims can go to court

Human rights judge, Justice David Cannings, said no person should be subjected to this sort of intimidation (sorcery-related violence) or terrible events that are being reported.

Sorcery is a criminal matter, but it can also be a civil matter under human rights.

Human rights worthless without enforcement

This was highlighted at the close of the inaugural workshop on Human Rights for Judges in the PNG Judiciary and Federal Court of Australia.

The two-day workshop ended on Friday afternoon with judges encouraged to be at the forefront in ensuring everyone’s rights are upheld and protected. 

Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika, in closing the workshop, said human rights are different from other constitutional rights and other laws.

People unaware of their rights: Judge

Having human rights, rights under the constitution and other laws does not mean everyone knows about them.

Human rights judge, Justice David Cannings, said there is a big problem in making people in Papua New Guinea aware of their rights.

That problem he said is faced by people living with disability, people in remote locations, and vulnerable groups like women who suffer from domestic violence, children who come into conflict with the law, juveniles, and people living with HIV/AIDS.

Judges in human rights workshop

The two-day workshop began today after a similar one was held last week for magistrates in the lower judiciary.

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia, in opening the workshop today, said two issues he hopes will be addressed are skills in dealing with human rights cases and the philosophical underpinnings of human rights.

“There is a wealth of case laws on human rights since Independence on the application, enforcement and protection of human rights under our domestic legal framework.

Making the courts more accessible

This was highlighted during a recent workshop on human rights in Port Moresby.

The two-day workshop has helped magistrates identify key areas of how they will address human rights issues in cases that they are dealing with every day.

Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika says accessibility to justice is the biggest issue in most districts as many district courts are closed.

Justice Salika told the magistrates that they have the power to enhance human rights and they must use their initiative to ensure that people’s rights are protected.

Lack of knowledge: Human rights barrier

A workshop on human rights for magistrates currently underway outlined that those in the rural areas see human rights as a “rich man’s thing” in going to court over alleged breach of their rights due to costs involved.

The lack of awareness and knowledge among simple villagers sees those in the rural areas resort to customs and cultural beliefs.

Customs are also changing in time and are also being used to violate human rights, especially in cases of women being paid compensation over a beating. The relatives benefit while the victim continues to suffer.

Judge condemns police assault

Steve Agira, from Tatana village, outside Port Moresby, was at Ela Beach to meet a relative when he was forced to jump into a ten-seater filled with police officers.

The court found that Agira was then taken to the Boroko cell and stayed there for one month. He was later transferred to Bomana and remained there for approximately three months.

Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika says police officers are employees of a law enforcement agency and for them to assault people without any cause is wrong.

Human rights training for magistrates

The two-day workshop will address short comings in the way the lower judiciary carries out its duty in terms of enforcing human rights.

Speaking at the opening, Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia says the workshop will enable those in enforcement agencies, like the courts, equip themselves with special skills so they perform to the best standard in enforcing human rights.

Chaos on Manus Island amid centre’s closure

Lorengau Town residents, led by non-government organisation, Manus Alliance against Human Rights Abuse, today marched with placards to the Manus Provincial Government headquarters, petitioning the Australian Government to free asylum seekers from detention on Manus and take them back to Australia.

Despite the provincial police commander, David Yapu, saying any protest march today regarding the shutdown would be deemed illegal, residents of Lorengau Town fronted at the Manus Provincial Government and handed their petition to Manus Governor Charlie Benjamin.