STAFF REPORTER | PNG Today
PORT MORESBY - Shadow justice minister Kerenga Kua has raised concerns over the APEC safety and security act passed in 2017 and amended this year.
Mr Kua, the member for Sinesine-Yongomugl, believes the act hands over Papua New Guinea’s sovereignty to foreign soldiers who will be coming to PNG to enhance APEC security.
He said the Act directs citizens to treat foreign security the same as members of the PNG Defence Force and Royal PNG Constabulary even though PNG was not involved in their screening and vetting.
“Our defence force is the only organisation in PNG that protects and defends our boundaries and our sovereignty,” Mr Kua stated.
“You can’t contract that away to somebody else. Somebody tried to do it before in the Sandline case and the people of PNG thrashed it. They openly came and protested and put an end to that.
“Well, it’s happening again this time around, under the guise of APEC.”
Mr Kua further said that, under the same legislation, foreign security forces have been granted immunity from criminal or civil prosecution. The act says:
“A member of the foreign safety and security personnel shall not be held civilly liable or criminally responsible for acts or omissions carried out in accordance with Section 43 and for the purposes of this Act.”
Furthermore the act, which will be in effect from November 9-19, allows foreign security forces to use lethal force if required.
“It says if you get shot, killed or injured during APEC by these foreign troops, it’s tough luck,” said Mr Kua. “That’s what the law says.
“So if they happen to be involved in a shootout, somebody gets killed or murdered or injured, you can’t prosecute them. The law absolves them of all responsibility.
“It’s got to be unconstitutional, because the onstitution has provisions which protect the interests of citizens.”