File spoon-archives/marxism-general.archive/marxism-general_1997/current, message 1

Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 11:11:05 -0400
Subject: M-G: NGO raids threat to democracy - ALERT URGENT

>Return-Path: <>
>From: "Vikki John" <>
>Organization:  Faculty Of Law, Uni. Of Tech., Syd.
>Date:          Tue, 13 May 1997 12:21:43 GMT-1000
>Subject:       NGO raids threat to democracy - ALERT URGENT
>X-Pmrqc:       1
>Priority: urgent
>------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
>Title -- 633 POLITICS: NGO raids threat to democracy
>Date -- 12 May 1997
>Byline -- None
>Origin -- Niuswire
>Source -- PNG Trust news alert (PNG), 11/5/97
>Copyright -- PNG Trust
>Status -- Unabridged
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> A  L  E  R  T <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
>>>>>>>>>> NGO's Raids.. The end of democracy? <<<<<<<<<
>At around 5:00AM on Monday the 5th of May, members of the Criminal
>Investigation Division and a detachment from the riot squad in Port Moresby,
>surrounded the PNG Trust premises in Rainbow village and woke staff and their
>families. A search warrant was produced that was signed by a Civil Court
>Magistrate (on the 21st of April) for "any [criminal] offence" that may arise
>out of investigations into "documents and computer disks" that may be ceased
>from PNG Trust in relation to the recent unrest around the Sanline Affair.
>For the next 3 hours, police searched the upstairs residence and dowstairs
>office while staff members and spouses watched and recorded property taken into
>possesion. In the early stages of the search, the senior staff member in charge
>(Tom Huasi) attempted to ring our lawyer but was told he was not allowed to do
>so. The lawyer was eventually notified and he (Brian Brunton) rushed over to
>the scene. His initial reaction to the Search warrant was that it was
>"defective" but police maintained they had "already taken property into
>custody" and therefore, nothing could be done. They lawyer refrained from
>protesting any further due to the large number of heavily armed police
>Later that morning, interim orders were drawn up by the lawyers and a National
>Court judge was "forced" into the court later that afternoon. The orders sought
>were in relation to an Application for Enforcement of Human Rights. The interim
>order sought to have all property belonging to PNG Trust brought into the
>custody of the court immediately, while the substantive issue in relation to
>breaches to rights to privacy, freedom from trespass, and the freedom from
>abritrary search and entry, was to be addressed by the court at a later date.
>That afternoon, the judge (Mari Kapi) granted the initial orders and set the
>next day at 3:00PM as the dealine for the bringing into custody of PNG Trust
>property. Asked (by Justice Kapi) if the PNG Trust lawyer could explain any
>possible offence for which the Search Warrant could have been granted, the
>lawyer replied "voicing and creating awareness about bad government policy?".
>To this the judge replied "That is not a criminal offence". On Tuesday
>afternoon, PNG Trust property was taken into custody by the National Court
>Registrar and another date (Thursday 8th May) was set for arguments in court in
>relation to whether the property should be returned to PNG Trust. Prior to that
>hearing, state and NGO lawyers had agreed that PNG Trust had nothing to do with
>the unrest around the Sandline affair, and the property should be returned
>immediately, without conditions.
>Prior to taking back their property, PNG Trust staff checked everything before
>lawyers, the CID officials and National Court staff. It was discovered that
>from around 10:30AM shortly after the raid, police officials had accessed two
>of the computers and viewed documents in relation to PNG Trust contacts,
>members, activities (past and projected), e-mail correspondence (int'l and
>local) and had attempted to create new folders. They had also attempted to
>access inbound and outbound encrypted e-mail correspondence, without any
>success. Most of this correspondence would have been in relation to West Papuan
>Refugees who recently crossed into PNG, as a result of Indonesian millitary
>aggression. The encryption was necessary to to protect their identity and
>whereabouts from PNG, Indon, Aust and NZ intelligience surveillence.
>The computers and other property have been returned but individual staff are
>now making an assesment of other possible "illegal-access" to private or non-
>sandline files on the computers.
>Our major concern now is that this is only the beginning of police/state
>intimidation of NGO's and anyone else who could ruin the return of the current
>gov't to power. We are eager to bring to conclusion the case for the
>enforcement of our rights and expose political motivations behind the raids
>(and have instructed our lawyer likewise). We also wish to see the police
>exercise it's powers against those implicated in the Sandline affair as they
>already have a mountain of evidence to charge and arrest people. On the other
>hand, they have and did not find anything to implicate us in the unrest around
>the sandline affair. Their failure to do so is only sending negative messages
>about police and state collaborration, to the soldiers, NGO's, voters and PNG's
>at large.
>We are also concerned that these raids and arrests may be a form of
>intimidation to invite violence nation-wide, so as to justify the cancelling of
>the general election. Whatever their strategies or intentions, the public at
>large has reacted negatively to this move against NGO's. Soldiers also see this
>move as a confirmation of their own suspicions that "they are next". As a
>result their barracks has been fortified and soldiers are on alert for any
>attempt to arrest leaders in "Operation Rausim Kwik".
>The government has also delayed the gazetting of "Call-out" orders that would
>allow the deployment of soldiers along-side police during the election. This
>has been seen as a political move to avoid soldiers "intefering" with polling
>which might affecting the chances of current government MP's
>PNG Trust would like to call on all it's partners, members, CP's and
>sympathisers to raise these issues with their communities, organisations, MP's
>and others. PNG Trust sees this recent action as a threat to democracy and
>democratic process in this country. Solidarity action inside and outside PNG in
>necessary to avert what could turn out to be the decline of democracy in this
>Please contact us if you require more information and wish to help.
>Richard Brunton                Ph:     +675 326 2261
>PNG Trust Inc.                 Fax:    +675 326 1731
>P.O. Box 279, UPNG,            E-mail:
>N.C.D. 134                     PACTOK: 90:675/999
>This document is for educational and personal use only.  
>Recipients should seek permission from the copyright source for reprinting. 
>This service is provided by Journalism Studies, University of Papua New Guinea.
> Please acknowledge NIUSWIRE. Queries:

     --- from list ---


Driftline Main Page


Display software: ArchTracker © Malgosia Askanas, 2000-2005