Killings, Rapes, Mine-related Deaths and Arbitrary Detentions

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Allegations of rapes, beatings and killings of community members by Porgera Joint Venture (PJV) security forces have been prevalent for at least a decade. In 2007, the Akali Tange Association, a grass roots human rights organization and members of the Porgera Alliance, issued a report called “The Shooting Fields of Porgera Joint Venture.” This report documents incidents of killings (14, of which 11 were by shooting), torture, arbitrary arrest, and beatings by the mine’s security forces. In a news article of 2005 then-mine operator Canada’s Placer Dome admitted to 8 killings of community members by PJV security guards and police.

Early in 2006 Barrick Gold Corp. took over the mine when it acquired Placer Dome. There have been further allegations of killings by PJV security forces in 2007 and 2008.

A Papua New Guinea (PNG) government investigation established in 2006 heard witnesses report that the mine’s private security guards committed abuses but, to date, the government’s findings have not been publicly released. The terms of reference for the PNG government’s inquiry have been called prejudicial as they assume a link between the shootings and killings by Porgera Joint Ventures’s security forces and alleged unauthorized gold mining before such a link has been established in evidence.

On December 2, 2007, MiningWatch Canada filed a complaint with the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions regarding killings of residents of Porgera by PJV’s private security guards (tolerated by the government), PNG Police, and Mobile Unit Police at the Porgera Mine.

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