Inmates vacate cells

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A JUDGE has ordered that 31 people held in cells at a police station be released to await their cases at home, or in prison, “to protect and enforce human rights”.
Justice David Cannings issued the order at the National Court in Madang after receiving complaints of “unlawful and unreasonable detention” from the detainees.
Justice Cannings allowed 12 to await their court cases at home on the condition that they keep the peace, be of good behaviour and report to the arresting officer every Monday until their criminal charge is dealt with.
Six of them were given strict instructions not to approach the complainants.
He ordered that the remaining 19 be transferred to the Beon Correctional Institution – 14 to be remanded and five to be brought to court when required.
This follows an application filed by the Public Solicitor for the enforcement of human rights for the detainees. Justice Minister Bryan Kramer said yesterday he would comment on the matter “once I’ve been fully briefed”.
“I will be happy to issue a response,” he said.
The case came before Justice Cannings in the National Court on Jan 8.
“The court had received complaints of unlawful or unreasonable detention from detainees at the Jomba police lock-up and having considered the circumstances of each detainee brought before the court, made several decisions pertaining to the detainees,” the court order stated.
The conditions of the police station cells at Jomba had been highlighted before.
In 2019, the police station had to undergo a K200,000 maintenance work to provide officers a clean and healthy working environment.
Madang Governor Peter Yama said police officers would perform well in a clean environment.
“We approved K200,000 for maintenance work and you can see some changes taking place,” Yama said.
Police said the cells needed an upgrade and had to get a pump from Australia to supply water to the cells.