Mondiai vows to find out why cops beat up pregnant woman

Source: The National, Thursday 23rd Febuary 2012

By GABRIEL LAHOC

POLICE will find out why six officers allegedly assaulted a seven-month pregnant woman then abandoned  her on a roadside.

Lae metropolitan commander Supt Nema Mondiai deplored the assault after the woman, Nora Duran, reported the matter to the police. He has advised Duran to lodge a formal complaint with the police ombudsman.

“I was not aware of this incident but I don’t condone such activities.

“They (police officers) have no right to abuse anyone like this, especially women,” Mondiai said.

“Definitely, it won’t be ignored. The perpetrators will severely be dealt with.”

Duran from Amoa, in the Morobe patrol post, said she was beaten and threatened by the police officers last Tuesday in Lae, Morobe. She was attended to by doctors at the Angau Memorial General Hospital’s labour ward.

She was selling soft drinks and ice-blocks at the Lain Kokonas market around 10am when she said six officers arrived in a police vehicle.

She said her husband had lodged a complaint with the police after Duran and her relatives confronted a woman he was alleged to be having an affair with. The woman lost some personal items during the scuffle. Police told Duran to replace the woman’s lost items. Duran said her husband beat her up in front of the officers and members of the public who were scared to come to her aid.

She claimed that she was lifted and thrown, hitting her head on the ground. One of the officers took out a baton and hit her feet.

“While I was still crawling on the ground in pain, another police officer kicked me on my buttocks and on the back,’’ she said.

She was forced into a police vehicle where the officers continued to threaten her.

“I was told by the policemen that they will shove the baton into my vagina and force me to give birth on the spot,” she said.

They then abandoned her on the roadside near the beachfront.

Her aunt Gia Denmark said an uncle who was driving by saw her stumbling in pain near the Lae rugby league grounds and went to help her.

“She is not a criminal to be treated like that. I want justice to be done so that these policemen should pay the price for their treatment of a young pregnant woman,” he said.

“The government must know that police brutality is still rife. If the police are violent, who do we turn to for help?”