Avara Jack, from Vabukori village in the nation’s capital, nearly lost his life on Saturday, May 27, after police officers allegedly bashed him up and stabbed him in the back with a cracked bottle neck.
According to his father’s statement to the Royal PNG Constabulary, Avara was brutally assaulted just because he was in the company of someone (name withheld) who had yelled insulting remarks to a Minister during a political rally.
“The MP’s committee called the police to sort out the disturbance by this individual,” says Jack Rau.
“Unaware that the policemen were already contacted, Avara left in the vehicle belonging to the guy who was yelling abusive comments towards the MP.”
Avara’s sister, Boio, said in response, about 5 or 6 vehicles drove towards Vabukori village and sighted the vehicle that Avara was in, along with another car from the village, on Konebada road. This was between 5.30pm and 6pm.
“They stopped the 2 vehicles, got the guys out and started beating them,” she said.
“The policemen put them all in one vehicle (maroon 5-door – Rego BDN# 462) and drove them to Badili Police Station. That was around 6.30pm.”
By then, Avara had already been stabbed.
When they stopped at the Badili station, Avara, who was bleeding heavily, jumped out and tried to escape. However, an officer caught him and started beating him again, said Boio. The entire scene was witnessed by locals from Vabukori that were at the Badili bus stop.
“All the guys, including Avara, were all locked up in the cell at Badili Police Station. Amongst them, Avara and one of his friends were seriously injured and were bleeding in there,” stated Boio.
Between 7-8pm, the station alerted St John’s Ambulance.
“I arrived at the scene about 3 minutes after the ambulance arrived,” said Boio.
“I witnessed the St John’s team bring my brother Avara out of the cell on a stretcher and put him in the ambulance.
“We convoyed to the Port Moresby General Hospital and he was admitted at the Emergency inside area while his friend was attended at the Emergency front area.”
The family is now calling for justice, saying police are supposed to protect the citizens of this country, not terrorise them.
Meanwhile, the PMGH emergency unit confirmed that Avara had been admitted to surgical ward 2A on May 28.
“He was admitted with multiple injuries from the mechanisms described; operated the same day.”
NCD metropolitan superintendent, Ben Turi, also confirmed receiving reports of the incident.
“Officers involved, including the police station commander, will be dealt with,” he told Loop PNG.