Transparency International says stop the violence and protect civil society in Papua New Guinea
The 10th Transparency International Papua New Guinea’s Walk against Corruption scheduled for 12 June is postponed to 19 June.
Issued by Transparency International Secretariat
Given the tense situation in Port Moresby, the 10th Transparency International Papua New Guinea’s Walk against Corruption, scheduled for 12 June in Port Moresby, Kokopo and Lae is postponed to 19 June. The new date allows us to better ensure the safety of our participants by monitoring the situation so that walkers, who include families with children, students and teams from both public and private sectors, can proceed safely.
Transparency International and its chapter in Papua New Guinea are joined by 13 TI national chapters across the Asia Pacific region calling on the government of Papua New Guinea to guarantee the safety of anti-corruption activists and citizens and strongly condemn the shooting by the police of unarmed student protesters.
The government must launch an impartial and independent investigation into the violence against demonstrating students this week where shots were fired injuring many. The investigations must be done with a promise that the recommended actions will be implemented.
“The government has obstructed and interfered with investigations into alleged government corruption. This needs to stop. The government must initiate a credible, effective and independent investigation on all corruption allegations. Citizens have the right to protest peacefully and to call on their government for transparency and accountability. The government has the obligation to protect its citizens and ensure their safety,” said Srirak Plipat, Transparency International's Regional Director for Asia Pacific.
Efforts to fight corruption in Papua New Guinea have been hindered by the government’s refusal to answer questions related to alleged corruption by the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill. In May Transparency International PNG raised concerns about the Police Commissioner’s action to disband the National Fraud & Anti-Corruption Directorate following the Directorate’s investigation into senior police officers.
“The situation in PNG is very worrying. Citizens are angry that their government is not pursuing corruption allegations and instead are attacking the very institutions charged with investigating and prosecuting corruption cases,” said Lawrence Stephens, chair of TI-PNG.
On June 19 Transparency International PNG is planning to hold the 10th annual Walk against Corruption. This walk unites people of all ages and background in a community effort to underscore the importance of fighting corruption. In the past this has attracted as many as 4000 people who walk both to raise awareness about the fight against corruption and to raise money for the work carried out by Transparency International PNG.
This year the walk will be postponed until there is a calm atmosphere where the spirit of unity and joint purpose can be expressed without fears of violence.
This call is also supported by TI Australia, TI Bangladesh, TI Cambodia, TI Fiji, TI Indonesia, TI Malaysia, TI Nepal, TI New Zealand, TI Pakistan, TI Solomon Islands, TI Sri Lanka, Transparency Vanuatu and Towards Transparency Vietnam.
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