Opposition calls for release of students in Wewak

Opposition leader Don Pomb Polye is calling on the police hierarchy to release the students detained in the cells in Wewak, East Sepik Province, immediately.

He said such arrests and detainment is uncalled for in a democratic country like PNG; it is unlawful and might lead to chaos in the country.

“Students should not be locked up in prison.”

Polye said the students were just practicing their rights to do awareness and inform their parents and the people of the nation about issues affecting the country.

“For the police to lock them up in cells is uncalled for and morally wrong.”

Polye is calling on Police Commissioner Gari Baki to direct his police commander in Wewak, East Sepik, to release the students.

Meanwhile, former attorney-general and Sinasina-Yonggomugl MP Kerenga Kua said: “In my village, we see university students as high profile people so I query whether the police commissioner has got all these students in Wewak cell properly checked and vetted down at Konedobu, through the high profile committee, which has been set up when they were arrested.

“Otherwise, this is one more proof that everything has been designed politically for political conveniences just to uphold one man. 
“That is what it is. The police are no longer independent and impartial. I might be wrong so prove it to me tomorrow,” Kua said.

He has also called on the police to release the students and consequently disband the vetting committee.

It was reported that the Wewak Police this morning intercepted the East Sepik university students who were heading into town to hold a public awareness forum.

The planned awareness was supposed to be staged at the town market area at 10am.

The awareness was to state their reasons for boycotting classes and why Prime Minister Peter O’Neill should step aside.

Speaking exclusively to Loop PNG from the Wewak Police Station cells at Caltex, East Sepik Tertiary Student Union president Newton Savi said 18 students are now in custody with some parents.

These students are from the University of Papua New Guinea and University of Technology, located in Port Moresby and Lae respectively.

Freddy Mou