Home > Human rights, Land, Papua New Guinea > Another Paga Hill style demolition, this time at Erima

Another Paga Hill style demolition, this time at Erima

Last week PNGexposed published an article by Dr Kristian Lasslett on the Paga Hill eviction. The human rights abuses that punctuated the exercise have been denied by police command.

Lasslett points out that police at Paga Hill prevented residents from taking photographs and even confiscated mobile phone cameras, which has made evidencing the abuses all the more difficult (which is, no doubt, the RPNGC’s goal). Now it appears the same brutal treatment has been meted out to residents living at Erima.

The day before their court case was due before the courts, police implemented a brutal demolition – echoing the May 2012 demolition at Paga Hill – and police actively prevented residents documenting the abuse by confiscating cameras.

Erima Forced Eviction June 12 2014 3

Erima Forced Eviction 12 June 2014

Erima Forced Eviction June 12 2014 2

Below is a news report on the demolition.

As more and more land grabs occur in urban centres for luxury development and debt laden infrastructure projects, expect to see more of these – hard working citizens left homeless, their worldly possessions destroyed, while land speculators, property developers, construction firms, real-estate companies, and political intermediaries make big bucks.

 

400 Left Homeless After Homes Demolished In Port Moresby 

‘Eviction’ happened despite court injunction, hearing yet to be held

Post-Courier, June 13, 2014 – More than 400 people, including women and children, have been left homeless after 42 homes were smashed down by an excavator under the watch of armed police in Port Moresby.

A notice to demolish the area had been given to residents but the courts issued an interim injunction to stop any eviction and the matter was due to be heard in the Supreme Court today at 9.30am.

Despite this, machines moved in on the residential area on Erima Road, just before the wildlife centre, at around 10am yesterday and destroyed everything.

Residents didn’t even have time to escape with their valuables.

Those residents who had gone to work and their children to school came back to find their homes all gone.

Many people lost all their possessions. A parked vehicle was overturned and huge trees were felled.

The police forcefully stopped photographs being taken and confiscated some people’s mobile phones.

Governor Powes Parkop and the NCD Commission were to appear in court today against the residents who were seeking to stop the destruction from taking place.

The demolition was allowed to go ahead despite all parties being aware of the court case.

“The destruction is unfair and against the interest of justice and welfare of the people,” said a resident whose home was wrecked right before his eyes.

Residents are not sure on whose orders the demolition took place. But people questioned the actions and fairness of the governor and asked why there were no relocation plans in place for them like there has been for other settlements in the city’s vicinity. Attempts to get comments from the governor and the NCDC were unsuccessful.

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