Eyeglass Assist

Solomon Islands Project


Title: Summary Justice PNG style

Location : Hermit Islands, Papua and New Guinea

Year : 2009

One evening I was sitting in the cockpit , Frances having gone to bed, anchored off a small island group, 140 miles north of the mainland of Papua and New Guinea. A lone paddler in a dugout came alongside Sea Spray, and although normally after dark I ask people if they would mind coming back the next day as it is too late for a visit, however I was going to have a cup of coffee so I asked him if he would like one and invited him on board. I gave him a cup of coffee and we spoke of several different things and then I asked him about his family. He said he had 7 brothers but one of them had died so he only had 6 now. I asked him what happened to the brother who died whereupon he told me that he was murdered and proceeded to tell me that story.

He said that his brother was a teacher and he had been out one night with his 16 year old daughter. They were confronted by a group of Rascals (one of the widespread criminal gangs that are out of control throughout PNG) who decided they wanted to rape his brother's daughter. They were armed with a least one rifle and his brother told his daughter to run away while he tried to fight off the gang. She managed to escape but they killed the father.

My friend went on to say that all the Rascals were now dead and I asked him now that was possible. He said that soon after this had happened, the family and community had found out who the murderers were and that they had all been slowly hunted down and killed, one by one, one way or another by family members aided by the community. He went to tell me that his nephew had only joined the PNG Police a few years previously and was still only a young man. Not long after he joined there was only one murderer left and on this particular occasion his nephew was working in the watch house (short term Police prison) in Port Moresby when he recognized the offender's name who was being brought into the watch house (he was there for an unrelated incident). The young police officer told his superior officer about the suspect and the officer removed the suspect from the watch house and at gunpoint, the two police officers drove the suspect out of town and executed him by shooting him in the head with a service revolver.

I have no way of verifying whether this is true or not but judging by other documented incidences I have read about PNG, I would not rule it out.

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