Feb 27, 2014

Life in PNG: violence and brutality inside — and outside — detention

The Manus Island detention centre might not be the most dangerous place to be in Papua New Guinea, writes an Australian expat in Port Moresby.

Papua New Guinea

Had Reza Berati not been killed last week in the violent clash on Manus Island — had he instead been quickly processed, found to be a refugee and resettled in Papua New Guinea — his safety could never have been guaranteed in this most violent of countries.

Papua New Guineans undoubtedly bear the highest burden of the brutality that takes place here daily. But foreigners are also targets for violence, ranging from opportunistic bag snatching and carjacking to rape, vengeance attacks and planned ambush and robbery.

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9 thoughts on “Life in PNG: violence and brutality inside — and outside — detention

  1. Khupert the Runt

    This sober expression of concern is the most chilling things I have read for a long time. One fact that stands out is that even the purported purpose of diversion to PNG – the permanent settlement of genuine refugees – hasn’t and probably won’t take place any time soon.

    1300 souls in a terrible limbo and its all our fault. On the basis of previous statistics more than 1000 of these will prove to be genuine. we are shocked by one death – how much worse is the systematic ruination of 1000 innocent lives through our inaction.

    We all must accept that this state of affairs is a result of the demonisation of asylum seekers by both recent governments. We have all allowed ourselves to be persuaded by this morally bankrupt rhetoric. The government of the day will resist any change to the convenient status quo unless we speak up.

  2. graybul

    A rational individual’s perspective of how he/she views both community and Australian immorality. Thank you ‘anonymous’ for your insights. Offshore incarceration of boat people on doorstops of third world countries, has moved far beyond politics and border protection objectives. It is no more or less than destruction of mind and limb of detainees by Australian Govt(s) and we the Australian people.

  3. Jill Baird

    It’s beginning to make the Malaysian solution look good, isn’t it?

  4. AR

    Meanwhile in boganland, the shoutjocks scram that the stoats have been bopped and the witch ditched, there is turmoil on the earth and all is quiescent in heaven, aka Canberra, a rooned ship station.

  5. Eden Wells

    Thank you Anonymous for your insights. Having lived for many years in PNG I was astounded by the announcement that asylum seekers would be “settled” in PNG for all the reasons you have described. Anyone with any knowledge of PNG would know that this was never a possibility.

  6. MJPC

    Friend I know was seconded to Pt Moresby on government posting. His unit had a front door then, inside the unit, was a lockable steel cage door like a jail cell.
    Go out of a night, not on your nelly!
    In this Dodge city country we need to send Sheriff Morrision up to sort it out.

  7. GLJ

    There are mistakes and there is ignorance, there is negligence and thisis down right something else. This is a conspicuous act of intent.

  8. leon knight

    Luckily Scott is a devout Christian, imagine how mean and devious he would be if he was an atheist……
    Sending him unarmed and alone on a few night patrols in PNG sounds like a wonderful idea.

  9. Bobimagee

    Having lived in and loved PNG the sentiments of this article are very close to my heart. PNG is a violent and scary place that is not capable of handling or absorbing asylum seekers into a complex and collective society sucj as png

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