Immunity for Armed Forces, PNGTUC expresses caution on proposed law

PORT MORESBY, 04 SEPTEMBER 2018 (POST COURIER) – A proposed legislation which will give immunity to the Papua New Guinea police and Defence Force soldiers on call out for special operations has been received with mix reaction.

The PNG Trade Union Congress is warning of infringement of civil liberties and human rights.

Leader of Government Business James Marape said yesterday that the proposed law will be presented in Parliament this session.

Marape, who is also Finance Minister, said that the proposed law will have all check and balance to ensure that on special operations especially when lives of police are under threat.

“The legislation will provide provisions for official investigations. This proposed law has all features of ensuring that public safety is maintained and will not be for every police on all normal duties but on special operational call outs,” he said.

However, the PNG Trade Union Congress has expressed caution and stated in no uncertain terms that it would oppose any such move and take all necessary action to protect civil liberties and human rights.

PNGTUC general-secretary John Paska said there was no such thing as total immunity against atrocities committed on innocent civilians, rape and pilage of communities.

“The pillars of justice must never be compromised under any circumstances. Soldiers and police cannot be given an open license to do whatever they please as sanctioned by the State.

“The minute this happens, it is open hunting and no one is safe including women, children, the media, churches and trade unions.

“We will be the first to oppose any such move and take all necessary steps to ensure civil liberties and human rights do not fall sway to indignant and indiscriminate state intrusion into individual rights and civil liberties,” Paska said.

More Stories