Link: Pacific Islands Report
Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

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

PNG Police Allegedly Attack Doctor On New Year’s Day
‘Traumatized’ doctor and wife assaulted, then taken to jail

By Melissa Martin

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Jan. 8, 2013) – While residents in Port Moresby welcomed the New Year with spectacular fireworks, music and partying, an innocent family’s celebration turned nasty as Papua New Guinea police intervened.

On Tuesday 01st January 2013, at around 5:30am, a police convoy of four vehicles attacked a Medical Doctor and his family right in the comfort of their home at 2 Mile Hill.

The alleged victim, Dr. Aaron David Yamo, is a father of three children ages ranging from six and half years to a five month old infant and works as a Chief Medical Officer for the PNG LNG project with International SOS.

Dr. Yamo and his wife were allegedly punched in front of their children, neighbors and other family members at their place of residence at 2 Mile Hill in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The reason for the attack is not known but it is believed to be another worst case of police brutality heard in PNG.

Dr. Yamo told Post-Courier that the police came in a convoy of four vehicles but the police who attacked were in a vehicle with registration number plate (named).

"The police drove into our residential area looking for drunkards who were causing nuisance on the notorious two mile hill road.

"In the process, they (police) ran into some boys who escaped using the open gate of our house," he added.

The doctor was also celebrating the New Year with his family members at home at the time of the incident.

He alleged that police chased two young men into his residential area where they both managed to have climbed over the fence and escaped.

"In the event, our family’s New Year celebration was disrupted when police began belting one of our family member, an innocent young man who was inside our residential premises.

"My wife and I were also bashed up, dragged and humiliated when we went in to defend our innocent family member," he said.

Dr. Yamo said police also arrested his wife who came into his defense and we were locked up in Boroko Cell from 6:00 am to 11:45 am that morning.

In the event, their five month old baby was left in the house with the other infants without anyone to care for them during that time they were locked in the Boroko cells.

"We were brought straight into a cell at the Boroko Police station and were thrown in with other common criminals who filled the cell. The police were telling the inmates, 'Abus blo yupla kam,'" he added.

The couple is traumatized due to the physical and verbal abuse from the police and other inmates in the cell.

"Who shall we go for in times of trouble? If the police can’t protect us, who else will? If they continue to abuse good citizens of this country both physically and verbally, who will make us feel safe in our society?" he asked.

The couple is in the process of gathering information and has sought legal opinion on laying charges after clearing the charges from the police.

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