Papua New Guinea: Investigation into police conduct in Porgera must be impartial
Amnesty International today questioned the impartiality of a proposed police investigation into alleged forced evictions near the Porgera gold mine following media reports that the Police Commissioner dismissed allegations of police misconduct.
“It is essential that such an investigation be transparent, effective, impartial and independent, and the results clearly based on the evidence,” said Shanta Martin, Amnesty International’s mining and human rights specialist. “It should not be launched by the police with a predetermined objective of clearing the police of misconduct.”
On 4 February 2010, Papua New Guinea’s Police Commissioner, Gari Baki, was reported in the media to have said that he might order a police investigation so as to refute claims that people in Porgera were the victims of police violence. He reportedly dismissed evidence of illegal evictions of people living near the Porgera gold mine and police violence as “fabricated”.
On 2 February 2010, Amnesty International launched its report, Undermining Rights: Forced evictions and police brutality around the Porgera gold mine, Papua New Guinea, which documents police violence and the forced eviction by police of families living alongside the Porgera gold mine.
Amnesty International also has concerns regarding ongoing support to the police by companies involved in the mine after the companies became aware of police misconduct in the area. The mine is 95% owned and operated by subsidiaries of the largest gold mining company in the world, Canadian-based Barrick Gold Corporation, as part of the Porgera Joint Venture.