17 prisoners killed in Papua New Guinea jail break
Published : 15 May 2017, 13:13
Prison officers in Papua New Guinea shot and killed 17 inmates involved in a mass prison break, local media reported on Monday, sparking calls for an investigation into overcrowded jails in the South Pacific nation where Australia detains asylum seekers.
Fifty escapees were still on the run from the Buimo prison in the city of Lae on Papua New Guinea's north coast, police said on their official Facebook page, warning the public that an increase in car jackings and armed robberies was likely.
"These are dangerous individuals," Lae Metropolitan Police Command said. "Police anticipate an increase in serious crimes in the city."
Local media reported than more than 70 prisoners attempted to escape from the Buimo prison, nearly 320 km (200 miles) north of the capital Port Moresby, on Friday. The Post Courier and The National newspapers reported that 17 prisoners were shot dead, three captured, and 57 were still at large.
It was the third mass breakout from Buimo in three years.
International human rights groups have repeatedly called for an inquiry into PNG jails, citing concerns about overcrowding, limited access to medical treatment and delays in court proceedings.
"Unfortunately these incidents, tragic as they are, happen all too frequently in Papua New Guinea as there is poor accountability with police and security officers," Kate Schuetze, Amnesty International's Pacific Researcher, told Reuters by telephone.
In February last year, 11 prisoners were killed in an attempted breakout at Buimo after 30 prisoners attacked guards. Fifty-five men escaped from the prison in a breakout in 2015 and two years earlier one detainee was shot dead when 44 fled the same facility in another mass escape.
Australia maintains an asylum-seeker detention centre on PNG's Manus Island, in accordance with its policy of not allowing people who attempt to reach Australia by boat to settle in the country.
The Manus camp, one of two South Pacific island asylum seeker detention centres funded by Australia, has been criticised by human right groups and the United Nations for cramp conditions, inadequate medical facilities and violence.
The PNG Supreme Court ruled in 2016 that the camp was illegal and should close, forcing Australia to confirm it would shut down the camp by the end of 2017.
Australia struck a deal with former US President Barack Obama to take some detainees who were deemed refugees, an agreement criticised by President Donald Trump as a "dumb deal" when he took office earlier this year.
- Most viewed
- Nicotine vaping might not be as healthy was first thought
- The rise of the gourmet burger trend
- Celebrity chef brothers bring their signature cooking to the Mideast
- Action if mobile phone operators sell SIM cards to Rohingya refugees [...]
- Process for taking back some Rohingya refugees ‘anytime’: Suu Kyi
- World must join to stop Rohingya genocide: Shabana Azmi
- Couple Has Sex In Domino's Pizza, Then Justice Is Served (video)
- Kushtia BNP leader held for ‘rape attempt’
- PM rules out possibility of understanding with BNP
- ‘SDG Tracker’ & Publication on South South launched
- Woman burnt to death ‘by husband’ for failing to get MBBS seat
- PM reaffirms Bangladesh's commitment to end sexual abuse of peacekeepers
- PM calls for taking private sector on board for SDG financing
- 'Addressing climate change means ensuring human rights'
- Nawaz Sharif's wife wins Lahore by-poll
- How to have beautiful toned body
- Girl dies falling off easy bike
- Women empowerment must to achieve SDGs: PM