The Media Council of Papua New Guinea (MCPNG) has condemned an attack by male students at the University of Papua New Guinea on media representatives who were covering a protest march staged by female students on Tuesday.
MCPNG said the action of these students is an act against Article 11 of the International Human Rights Act, which talks about Freedom of Assembly and Association, and Sections 46, 47 and 55 of the country’s Constitution, which talks about the Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Assembly and Association and Equality of Citizens.
The Council is disappointed that these male UPNG students, who are supposed to be part of the elite of PNG tertiary student population, could use a mob rule approach, to harass and intimidate their female students as well as the media.
The students were protesting against increased incidents of harassment against female students, and media representatives were there doing their jobs.
MCPNG is also saddened that the students who profess to come from a premier university in the Pacific, could act in such an ignorant, rowdy manner, and protect would be criminals and sexual predators in the country’s premiere university, under the pretext of safeguarding the institutions reputation.
The Council believes strongly that continued coverage and exposure of ongoing social problems such as this, will assist concerned authorities and the University Administration address these problems, to make UPNG improve its image and reputation for the better.
MCPNG is now calling on the University Administration and the Council, to immediately look into this matter, and ensure that female students’ safety and wellbeing on campus is guaranteed.
This will ensure the University is given a free and balanced coverage in terms of news going forward.