ALL FIVE RAPE SUSPECTS IN POLICE CUSTODY

All five suspects wanted for the rape of a Lae nurse  have been arrested by police. The arrests come against a backdrop of increasing calls for the death penalty to be imposed.

The Morobe Provincial Assembly’s Law and order chairman – the provincial equivalent of the National police minister – says he will be writing to the Prime Minister to seek tougher penalties or at least  reignite discussions about  the death penalty.
It  brings to mind a discussion with the former  police minister,   Bire Kimisopa who said: “As long as I am in government, no Papua New Guinean will be put to death.”
What should we do?
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NIMO THE RAPE SUSPECT SURRENDERS, TELLS ALL

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Police  and members of the Lae’s East Taraka community  yesterday began  a hunt for three suspects wanted for  the rape of a Lae nurse  on Saturday. 
           This came  after one suspect turned himself   in  on Monday hours after Angau hospital staff  staged a sit in strike and demanded the arrest of the rapists within 48 hours.  The other was arrested by police yesterday.
          The first suspect  known only as “Nimo”   has given the  names and details of  three others. 
“We know who they are… We need your help.”
As in many urban communities,  when crimes are committed,  there’s always somebody who knows the troublemakers.   The reaction from the community  has been one of outrage.
           Heads were shaken and the disgust and the anger on the faces of both young and old was clear as the police officer in charge called out the names of  three young men who broke into the nurse’s home.
         Those present at the meeting know them. They know their parents and they know where they live.
            “We have to bring that boy (Nimo) here and ask him,”  said one community leader. “If he doesn’t cooperate we’ll burn down his house.”
             The East Taraka suburb  is known for all the wrong reasons.  This was once home.  My parents lived in this neighborhood.  They were assaulted and robbed in the first years of residence.   But as the years went by, my dad who helped out in the neighborhood church,  got to work with some of the youths  who stole his shoes and our television previously. 
Paps Charlie: Disgusted!
If you live there long enough, you understand it’s a close knit community.  You can’t run and you can’t hide if you commit a crime like rape.
          Cases of sexual assault  should grab attention of  any decent law abiding community. 
          But  many other  instances of rape throughout the country, parents and relatives of the victims seek compensation and those responsible go unpunished. 
This case has grabbed attention only because the victims colleagues have stood up for her,  closed a public hospital and demanded action from authorities.  
           Do I hear some political murmur for stricter penalties? Maybe the death penalty?  Apart from Gary Juffa, the political silence has been  deafening!

RAPE OF NURSE TRIGGERS PUBLIC OUTRAGE

The rape of a nurse in Papua New Guinea’s second largest city on Saturday   has triggered widespread public  outrage and the closure of the city hospital.

Staff  closed down Lae’s Angau Hospital hospital late  yesterday after  the incident was reported. They are  demanding  the immediate  arrest  of the rapists within 48 hours.
Details of the incident aren’t clear but it’s understood the  off-duty nurse was at home with her family when armed men broke into  her home,  held  up the woman’s husband and assaulted her.
This morning,  more than 100 nurses and doctors met  with the management.   They  called  on the  Chief Executive and  board to improve security and housing conditions for the nurses and doctors.
This is the latest of many attacks on  hospital staff in recent months.  An attempt to kidnap a female nurse in January  was foiled by workers and security guards.  The suspect was caught and severely beaten.
Papua New Guinea’s record of  physical and sexual  violence against women has brought  widespread criticism and international attention  on the plight of women  in rural and urban areas.
In a country, reeling  from the recent  public torching  of a woman accused of sorcery,

this attack expected to be brought to the attention of the Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill.

 “I got  reports of the incident yesterday and I am very disturbed by it,” Dr. Polapai Chalau, the Hospital’s CEO said.   “This matter has to be brought to the attention of the highest office. Enough is enough!”
“We demand the utmost respect for our workers,” said hospital chairman, Benson Nablu. “This cannot go on.”
This  comes  also as global attention has been  focusing the recent  brutal gang-rape of  an Indian woman in Delhi who later died of here injuries.

SUPPORTERS CALL FOR ELECTION PETITION TO BE WITHDRAWN

Supporters of the  Morobe Governor, Kelly Naru have called him  and former governor, Luther Wenge to set  aside their differences  and end a  court dispute over election results.
Luther Wenge’s lawyers filed an election petition against  Kelly Naru last year on grounds that Naru and his supporters bribed voters during the elections.   
Former Governor, Luther Wenge
“We’re here to prove allegations of bribery,” Luther Wenge said outside the courtroom. “The court has to decide if this matter will go to a full hearing.”
More than 100 political  supporters of both men  packed the Lae courtroom yesterday to hear if the matter will go to a full trial.   A decision  will be made on Thursday.
Both Wenge and Naru are no strangers to the legal landscape.  Naru owns a law firm and Wenge worked as a lawyer and a magistrate before running  for office 15 years ago.  

Wenge was also instrumental in the removal of the Australian Government’s Enhanced Cooperation Program (ECP) which brought Australian Federal police advisors  to Papua New Guinea.

Wenge’s lawyers  presented submissions  saying the facts of the case are sound and  should  proceed to a full trial.   Lawyers representing the  electoral commission and Kelly Naru say otherwise. They also want the  petition dismissed.   Thy have also argued that  details of whether Governor Kelly Naru paid money to his supporters with in intention of influencing votes remain unproven.
Outside the court house,   supporters of  governor Kelly Naru, carrying placards said  both men should  put aside their differences and allow the  governor and the provincial government to perform their jobs.
“We want services,” said Plankus Miamel. “We urge the governor and the former governor to have this petition dismissed.”