From: "Vikki John" <VIKKI-AT-lexsun.law.uts.edu.au> Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 15:10:47 GMT-1000 Subject: M-NEWS: (Fwd) Bougainville News 20/2/98 (PC) Postcourier 20 Feb 98 US critical of human rights abuses in PNG Papua New Guinea has been severely criticised in a United States human rights report, which alleged ``serious human rights abuses'' by government security forces on Bougainville. The US State Department's annual review of human rights (1997) report, released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (dated January 30, 1998), also cited police brutality and violence against women as serious and prevalent problems. It said, ``The number of gang rapes is believed to have risen, there is extensive discrimination against the disabled and violence between tribes remain serious problems.'' The report also highlighted the extremes of human rights abuses in other South Pacific Island nations including Fiji, Vanuatu, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati and Tuvalu. Tuvalu, it said, respects human rights but PNG was the worst abuser, next to Fiji whose ``new constitution preserves the paramountcy of indigenous Fijian interests which cannot be subordinated to interests of other communities''. ``Besides (Bougainville), there continued to be credible reports that members of the security forces committed extra-judicial killings, were responsible for disappearances, abused prisoners and detainees, and employed harsh enforcement measures against civilians,'' it said.
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