Commissioner confirms Kaiwi’s assault

Commissioner of the PNG Correctional Services, Stephen Pokanis, has confirmed that Bhosip Kaiwi was indeed assaulted by Correctional Service officers.

The assault was reported to Commissioner Pokanis by lawyers representing Kaiwi, after they visited their client at the CS Test Compound, located at the CS Training College.

In a press conference today, Commissioner of the PNG Correctional Service Stephen Pokanis, confirmed 25-year old remandee Bhosip Kaiwi was physically assaulted by CS officers after he was taken to the CS Isolation facility, known as the Test Compound, at the CS Training College in Bomana.

The assault was reported to the Commissioner Pokanis in writing after they visited him on the day he was brought to the quarantine facility.

“The lawyers wrote to us and asked that he be taken to the clinic to be treated. His lawyers visited him last week. They asked that he be taken to the health centre at Bomana, and he was given some antibiotics – they gave him Panadol to take. They saw some … ‘liklik han i pas long em’, but otherwise nothing very serious.

“In my case, we will call those officers in and warn them. For detainee it’s up to him.”

And it will be up to the detainee and his lawyers to decide how to take the matter further up – even the assault can be used as basis for his bail application – something the family of late Jenelyn Kennedy do not want.

Kaiwi will be out of the Test Compound in a week or so, and will join the rest of the prisoners in the main compound.

And what guarantee is there to keep him from further assault? Commissioner Pokanis said they can only talk to prisoners and CS officers to refrain from causing any more harm.

“I cannot comment on what the outcome would be when he reaches main compound. We can only continue to talk to our prisoners and officers in whatever dormitory (Kaiwi) will be kept in.”

Kaiwi is being treated like everyone else, despite CS profile and the crime committed.

He has options, including writing to the Ombudsman Commission and the National Court to report any human rights abuses.

Salome Vincent