Riots break out in Papua New Guinea

24 March 2017 – The head of the Salvation Army in Papua New Guinea says riots that swept through the main streets of capital city Port Moresby on Friday caused “great devastation” to people who already had so little.

Territorial Commander Colonel Kelvin Alley said he watched on helplessly as vital community services like the supermarket, medical centre, dentist and chemist burnt to the ground.

“These places where people had jobs, jobs that were probably the only income to a large extended family. Gone,” he said in a statement on Friday.

“The street rumour is that the fire was started deliberately.

“If so, it is a crime against people who every day face the injustices of poverty and deprivation, who often seek out a living on the streets and markets, but who depend on these vital services.”

Col Alley said although the situation had eased, the city’s Boroko region had experienced “great devastation”.

“Now that calm has been restored, we are left with this terribly empty feeling due to the totally unnecessary loss and destruction of not just buildings, but buildings that represent vital services to people who desperately need them,” he said.

Col Alley described looting during the riots as “astounding”, with hundreds of people taking part in order to get their hands on free goods.

It’s unclear what prompted the riots.

Kathy Testh, who works at the Mapang Missionary Home a few blocks away from the riots, told AAP she woke up to the sound of gunshots.

Ms Testh said she drove to a meeting only to return to find the main roads cordoned off and being manned by armed guards, to stop more people entering the area.

Col Alley said several Salvation Army staff had taken ill after smoke inundated the buildings, located on the same street as the riots.

“Almost the entire business block across the road has been destroyed, unnecessarily by raging fires, rampant looting and out of control crowds,” he said.

He said the Salvation Army was committed to supporting the community to rebuild.

Manus Island: protests at detention centre, asylum seeker killed by police

February 17: An asylum seeker was killed and at least 77 injured in the second riot this week at a detention center in Papua New Guinea. 23-year-old Reza Berati, from Iran, was killed by police. One person among the wounded was in a critical condition with a head injury and another sustained gunshot wounds during the clashes on the small island in impoverished Papua New Guinea.

The facility, part of Australia’s tough stance against asylum seekers, has come under fire over human rights concerns. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said the riot began when detainees forced their way out of the center, but refugee advocates said it was triggered when Manus Island residents and police stormed the facility, attacking the asylum seekers.

 

Melbourne: Three more months for prisoners who started $320,000 Metropolitan Remand Centre riot

February 17: Five prisoners who ran wild and caused more than $320,000 damage will serve just three more months behind bars.

The five rioters caused massive damage at the Metropolitan Remand Centre on August 12, 2012. The court heard the five men scaled a wire fence in their unit’s yard before pushing over another fence and entering a prison perimeter referred to as “The Sterile Zone”. Once inside, the men hurled tennis ball-sized rocks at prison guards and smashed security cameras and windows as they rampaged around the prison between a five-metre wall and the wire fence. Two vehicles, security sensors and CCTV wiring were also damaged.

Three prison officers were injured by rocks during the riot, with one officer struck in the eye by shattered glass.

The men — some of whom were armed with sharpened sticks and rods — were subdued hours later by specialised security officers dressed in full riot gear and accompanied by dogs. The court heard the men planned the riot because “the screws were being smart”. Continue reading “Melbourne: Three more months for prisoners who started $320,000 Metropolitan Remand Centre riot”

Mapanyukki, Indonesia: Riots and attacks against police in resistance to land eviction

325, 23 October: … Yesterday when I was cooking, me and subcommandante ***** heard about some eviction quite near to Pandan Raya, in Mapanyukki. We heard in the radio that two of the police were severely injured by molotov cocktails and we rushed to the place. But by the time we get there its all tear gas and the confrontation have calmed down, but you can see how the police forces were very large, including some military trucks, it was a full force eviction. But the occupants fought very hard too. The little boys fights with arrows, molotov cocktails, the women, rocks, but the tear gas easily dispersed them. I can still feel the pain in my eyes as we passed through the former battleground. This eviction grew unease to the comrades because its like signal for Pandan Raya as the next target. …