McDiyan Robert Yapari
Once again it really saddens me to notify you all that yet another serious human rights abuse has been once again committed by Barrick Gold Corp and its allies here at Porgera, PNG.
Despite several attempts to hold Barrick accountable for its previous gross human rights violations, including killings, beatings, raping/ganging, illegal detention and forcefully evictions done so far by Barrick Gold Corp at Porgera Gold Mine, the Barrick hired Security Personals and PNG Mobil Squads have shot two young man aged between 23 and 26 in the early mornings of April, 16th 2017.
One of the young man died instantly while the other sustained serve injuries and is fighting for his life at a hospital.
Upon receiving the news, I have personal attended the scene where the decease’s relatives were hosting funeral services and interviewed some locals there and found out that these two young men were panning for gold at the PJV’s Open Pit when they were allegedly shot by Barrick Hired Security Personals and PNG Police Mobil Squads.
I further interviewed a young man who had accompanied these victims and he said that they (including the victims) were panning for gold bearings ores at the PJV Open Pit and all of a sudden two Toyota Land Cruiser white in colour, fully loaded with Police and Security Personals appeared and had open fired directly at them.
He further added that he was at least 5-6 meters away from the other two and while he was still watching, a Security Personal pointed his high powered gun (Sig-riffle) directly at the deceased and shot him. After noting that the deceased was shot, he fled for cover and heard several other gun shots too. He also said that he was shot too many times but fortunately, he missed all the bullets.
After sometimes later about 30 to 40 minutes, he called for help and other alluvial miners came to where he was. The alluvial miners mobilized themselves and went to see what had happened to the deceased and the other person whom he had left.
Upon arrival at the scene, they found out that the deceased was shot at his head and the bullet penetrated right through his forehead. He further added that the other alluvial miner was shot at his lower abdomen and was bleeding very severely.
After noting this, they rescued the injured personal and carried the death corps to their home village.
Supplementary to this incident, I have written to Barrick’s President and its Senior Managements of a forced eviction, rape and assaults of several indigenous people on the March 25th and Barrick has responded and said that they will set up an investigation into the allegation, however; nothing has been done since today.
I did all my best to raise these and other similar abuses and had alarmed the Barrick to provide remedies but Barrick is so stubborn and too ignorant.
I belief all avenues to address, mitigate and prevent such human rights abuses are exhausted now. Also, the Barrick created Operational Level Grievance Mechanism is ineffective, manned with incompetent personals.
I now call upon Barrick to seriously looking into these human rights allegations and promptly respond without delay.
We at Porgera are fed up of Barrick’s assurances of “will do, we are working on it, we are committed to respecting human rights and other such bushtits.”
Also, I now appeal to the Government of PNG and Canada to intervene and look into these allegations seriously.