Asia-Pacific

GRAPHIC VIDEO: Police suspended after brutal attack on teen

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Further details of the Papua New Guinea police attack on a 15-year-old boy have been released.

Papua New Guinea police have confirmed that two officers will be suspended after a violent video of them emerged online.

The footage filmed on a mobile phone showed the two officers armed with semi-automatic guns brutally beating and kicking a teen who appears to be naked.

Further details of the attack were revealed in a statement from the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary on Thursday. 

In the statement, West New Britain Provincial Police Commander Superintendent John Midi said the 15-year-old boy was assaulted by the officers after he allegedly attempted to rob a young woman in the town of Kimbe.

"The incident happened three weeks ago but I was not aware of the incident until the matter went viral on social media," Mr Midi said.

He said the matter was referred to the Internal Affairs Unit (IAU) for formal investigation and "we will follow all procedures in dealing with the matter".

The statement said the assault on the teenager was committed by members of the Airborne Tactical Unit (ATU) from Port Moresby.

The ATU officers are currently in the province to "assist local police curb a recent upsurge in crime and quell a number of conflicts".

Mr Midi said "according to the reports obtained from the medical team, the suspect did not sustain any serious injuries," adding that the youth will appear in court this Friday.

The incident prompted outrage from human rights organisations around the world.

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"This video is absolutely horrific but sadly it's not surprising," Australian Director at Human Rights Watch Elaine Pearson said.

"We know that police brutality is a regular everyday occurrence in Papua New Guinea, I think what's exceptional about this video is that it was captured on video."

The Australian government has provided $58.9 million over two years for the Australian Federal Police to provide assistance to the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary.

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On Wednesday, Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told SBS News Australia remains committed to providing support to PNG, despite incidents like this.

"The success of our aid program and federal police program should not and cannot be judged on one incident," she said.

"I will raise this specific issue with [Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Rimbink Pato] to get PNG's perspective."

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