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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

PNG Police Arrest 2 Suspects After Alleged Nurse Rape
Staff petition for protest over state of Angau hospital

By Haiveta Kivia

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Feb. 20, 2013) – In Papua New Guinea, two suspects, allegedly involved in the rape of a nurse working at Angau Hospital in East Taraka over the weekend, have been arrested.

Lae metropolitan commander, Superintendent Ivan Lakatani told Post-Courier that the first suspect surrendered himself to police and the second was picked up at East Taraka market after police were tipped off.

Mr. Lakatani said others involved in heinous crime will be picked up because the East Taraka community is fed up with such animalistic behavior.

He said police have mounted a surveillance of the whole East Taraka area and already have names of the suspects and it is a matter of time before they will be picked up. "My men mounted a surveillance of the area and the suspect gave himself up. Others will follow suit because we have the community helping us to identify who they are.

"The names of the suspects will not be released at this stage because they have not been interviewed and formally charged," he said.

He said once they are charged then police will release their names. It was reported that a man at East Taraka hid in his house the whole day and refused to leave the houses because he was really ashamed that one of his nephews was allegedly involved in the crime.

"I am so ashamed to leave my house and do what you are asking me to do," when he was asked by a friend to do him a favor. Meanwhile, a request by the staff at the hospital to stage a protest march into Lae Top Town to present a petition to Morobe governor, Kelly Naru, was refused by Mr. Lakatani.

Instead, Mr. Lakatani met with the staff at the Angau Hospital grounds and asked them to invite Governor Naru or his delegate to the hospital to receive the petition.

The staff agreed and will invited Governor Naru or his delegate to receive their petition today. Mr. Lakatani said police in Lae are short-staffed and opportunists may also grab the opportunity to disturb the peace and good order or unnecessarily affect business houses and properties, therefore he refused to permit the march.

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