By PNG Echo.
Wewak Police Commander, Sakawar Kasieng and three of his officers have been charged with the rape of a teenage girl that occurred during a police raid of a village at Dagua.
An arrest was effected in an early morning raid by the Police Mobile Squad deployed from Port Moresby, according to PNG Edge.
The four police officers, including Commander Kasieng, were up before the Wewak court for mention yesterday on charges of rape, unlawful wounding and arson. The four are reported to be at the Kreer Heights police station lock up and have been denied bail.
What’s most shocking about the incident from which the charges arise, is the alleged enthusiastic involvement of the Wewak Police Commander Sakawar Kasieng
Commander Kasieng (remember that name) not only led his men in the raid but also acted as a role model for their behaviour as he raped the young girl giving tacit approval for them to do so too.
Kasieng then (allegedly) compounded his felony by assaulting and intimidating a community leader (a woman) who dared to make a complaint to the Wewak police of the crime.
After the assault, he locked her in the police cells while he deployed his men to look for her ‘accomplice’ with whom to do likewise. The lady ‘accompice’ went into hiding, in fear of retribution for daring to complain about this shocking case of police brutality.
If there is any truth to the allegations, Police Commander Kasieng brings disgrace not only to the uniform he wears but to the whole of the nation of Papua New Guinea.
There is no place in a functioning state for law enforcers who do not obey the law. One of the primary indicators of a ‘failed state’ is the state’s loss of control of their law enforcement agencies.
Kudos to Prime Minister and then Minister of Police, Peter O’Neill
In December of last year, PNG Echo became involved in a dialogue with the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, in his capacity as Minister of Police over these incidents
At this time, Prime Minister O’Neill, through his minion, conveyed that he would indeed “look into it,” – a phrase that has become a source of ridicule and a metaphor for inaction associated with the O’Neill government and the Prime Minister himself.
However, Minister O’Neill was as good as his word and mobilized his forces in what PNG Edge has described as “… one of the biggest internal investigations… of police brutality in East Sepik province.”
Although Mr O’Neill took umbrage with the reference by this writer to PNG as “sliding into a state of anarchy” and being in jeopardy of becoming a “failed state” with his actions he has done more than give the denial of the concept lip service – he’s acted.
Credit where credit is due.
The three arms of government
Two arms of the PNG government have effectively done their jobs:
- the legislature has effected laws that make this behaviour unlawful regardless of community standing of the alleged perpetrator
- and the executive has mobilized its agencies to investigate.
All it now takes for PNG to score the trifecta needed to consider itself a true democracy is for the judiciary to perform its tasks effectively
There’s still much that can go wrong before this case is successfully prosecuted – but at least the alleged perpetrators have been brought to justice, which is an excellent start.
Let’s now hope that justice prevails – because so often in the past it hasn’t.