By DOROTHY MARK
A JUDGE has ordered the Madang government and Police Commissioner Gari Baki to enforce a human rights emergency at the Jomba Police Station cells.
This follows a recent report that 92 people, including three women and 27 juveniles, being locked up in the cells which were unfit for human occupation.
Madang resident judge Justice David Cannings, in a court proceeding last Saturday, ordered the two authorities to provide funding for the upgrading and maintenance of the lockup.
Cannings, pictured, issued nine orders to enforce the human rights of persons detained there.
He warned that the failure to carry out the court orders would be tantamount to contempt.
“And take notice that failure by any person to comply with this order may be deemed to be contempt of court and expose the person who fails to comply to the sanctions of the criminal law, including arrest, fine and or imprisonment,” Cannings said.
He ordered the Madang government to provide K50,000 today from which K25,000 was to be paid to the company which built the juvenile and female cell blocks as part payment of the work he had done.
He said the new juvenile and women’s cell blocks should be commissioned.
The balance is to be paid to police for work to be done immediately to fix the old cell block. Cannings ordered the contractor to accept the K25,000 as part payment for the work completed and to hand over the keys to the new facilities so they could be commissioned.
He ordered Baki to ensure that the balance due to the contractor be paid in full by January 31.
Madang police commander Superintendent Jacob Singura and police station commander Senior Inspector Jacob Bando were also ordered to restore health and hygiene levels at the old cell block to an acceptable level.
This includes pumping out sewerage and waste, cleaning out the cell block thoroughly, making all ablution facilities clean and operational, including showers and toilets.
Cannings also ordered the Madang urban local level government, Madang District Development Authority, the Modilon Hospital, Water PNG and PNG Power to resolve the work necessary for those orders.
He also ordered the president of the Madang Chamber of Commerce to be aware of the situation so he could inform members about the emergency and encourage services and support towards the maintenance of the lockup as an integral part of the law-and-order infrastructure of the province.
Canning’s final order was for Singura and Bando to ensure that all members of the police force were alerted to and be reminded of the issue as a matter of urgency of the human rights of any person being detained in custody at the lockup or at any other place.
The matter will return to court to check if the nine orders have been followed.
Meanwhile, Cannings ordered the release of the 36 detainees on human rights grounds. He also issued warrants and ordered that 17 detainees be transferred to the Beon Correction Centre.
By DOROTHY MARK