TRANSPARENCY International and its chapter in Papua New Guinea are joined by 13 TI national chapters across the Asia Pacific region calling on the government of Papua New Guinea to guarantee the safety of anti-corruption activists and citizens and strongly condemn the shooting by the police of unarmed student protesters.
The government must launch an impartial and independent investigation into the violence against demonstrating students this week where shots were fired injuring many. The investigations must be done with a promise that the recommended actions will be implemented.
“The government has obstructed and interfered with investigations into alleged government corruption,” said Srirak Plipat, Transparency International's Regional Director for Asia Pacific. “This needs to stop.
“The government must initiate a credible, effective and independent investigation on all corruption allegations.
“Citizens have the right to protest peacefully and to call on their government for transparency and accountability. The government has the obligation to protect its citizens and ensure their safety.”
Efforts to fight corruption in Papua New Guinea have been hindered by the government’s refusal to answer questions related to alleged corruption by the prime minister Peter O’Neill.
In May Transparency International PNG raised concerns about the police commissioner’s action to disband the National Fraud & Anti-Corruption Directorate following the Directorate’s investigation into senior police officers.
“The situation in PNG is very worrying,” said Lawrence Stephens, chair of TI-PNG. “Citizens are angry that their government is not pursuing corruption allegations and instead are attacking the very institutions charged with investigating and prosecuting corruption cases.”
This call is also supported by TI Australia, TI Bangladesh, TI Cambodia, TI Fiji, TI Indonesia, TI Malaysia, TI Nepal, TI New Zealand, TI Pakistan, TI Solomon Islands, TI Sri Lanka, Transparency Vanuatu and Towards Transparency Vietnam.