Concern for detainees


A JUDGE has ordered that State lawyers visit and interview the 92 people, including three women and 27 juveniles, detained in an “overcrowded” police station lockup in Madang.
Madang resident judge Justice David Cannings wants the matter to return to court this afternoon.
In the National Court yesterday, he issued an urgent order for police to allow access to officers from the Public Solicitor’s Office, Solicitor-General and Public Prosecutor to interview the 92 detainees in the overcrowded Jomba Police Station cell.
Cannings said it was as an emergency to inquire into the legality and reasonableness of the detention of the 92 people.
“The commissioner of police, provincial police commander, officer in-charge of Jomba Police Station and all members of the police force shall provide free and ready access to the facility at the Jomba police lockup to officers of the Office of the Public Solicitor, Office of the Public Prosecutor and the Office of the Solicitor-General to inspect and interview the detainees,” Cannings said.
Cannings made the order following routine checks made at the detention facilities on Dec 1 by court officers.
They submitted in their report to Cannings that an alarming number of people were detained at the police station lockup.
He advised the public solicitor to collect information from the detainees and file complaints of unlawful and unreasonable detention.