Protest stopped, organisers called to police HQ

Today’s protest march by civil society groups in Port Moresby did not eventuate as planned.

The protest was called off by police on account of it being unlawful and no proper permit from the good order committee to stage it.

According to one of the activists, Bryan Kramer, there was heavy police presence as the crowd began to build up.

The police then issued an order for them to disperse within 30 minutes while the organisers of the event, the PNG Anti-corruption Movement chairman Lucas Kiap and Noel Anjo, were called to meet with Police Commissioner Gari Baki at the police headquarters.

Loop PNG caught up with the activists just after their meeting with the police hierarchy and said they will file a court case tomorrow and sue the police commissioner for contempt and perverting the cause of justice.

However, Kramer admitted to Loop PNG that the protest was illegal as there were no proper procedures involved.

“Following the orders from the police, the crowd's initial reaction was to stand their ground.

“I stepped in and explained that there was no proper permit in place to stage a peaceful protest and it was unlawful,” says Kramer.

Meanwhile, activist Anjo told Loop PNG that they will be seeking legal advice on the matter and will update the people on their plans in the near future.

In the meantime, students at the University of Papua New Guinea are continuing to boycott classes. They’re into their second week now.

The protest and actions by the students were all for Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to step aside and be investigated by the police over some high profile issues.

Freddy Mou