Many in black rally for Jenelyn and against PNG gender-based violence


Athletes from the Papua New Guinea’s national team joined the peaceful “cry for justice” march in the nation’s capital of Port Moresby. Video: EMTV News

By EMTV News

Many wore black yesterday in rallies against gender-based violence in Papua New Guinea in a day chosen to remember the young mother Jenelyn Kennedy – and for her death not to be in vain.

As demands grow for justice to be served and for stronger laws to be introduced, the national athletics team was among those who joined the “Walk for Jenelyn” yesterday afternoon from Parliament to the Sir John Guise Stadium, followed by a “shine the light” vigil.

The “Black Day for Jenelyn” call following Jenelyn Kennedy’s death has gained momentum, thanks to social media as word spread quickly and many working class people turned up to support the march.

READ MORE: Dame Meg Taylor’s message to PNG and other gender-based violence reports

The march was also livestreamed on social media by EMTV News.

Photos posted on social media came from different parts of the country, from Mendi in the Southern Highlands to Kiunga in the Western Province.

The march was an initiative by the PNG Men Up, a group comprising like-minded elite PNG men who want an end to violence by working alongside existing groups to drive this change.

The family of 19-year-old mother of two Jenelyn Kennedy, who died last week after allegedly being beaten for more than five days, also joined the walk.

Forum on better laws
Police commissioner David Manning earlier this week revealed plans to call for a forum after investigations are completed to looks at ways to strengthen existing laws, ensure police are more responsive and to push for the state to provide long term support systems for victims of family and sexual violence.

Madang GBV protest
Madang GBV protesters marking the Black Day for Jenelyn yesterday. Image: EMTV News

The NGO Development Council called for justice and an end to violence and also highlighted system failures that lead to breeding of family and sexual violence.

It condemned a system that allowed underage marriage and failures in the law, justice and health sectors to recognise the risks.

NDC has called on the police, health sector agencies, medical profession and other law and justice system partners to work together to change these deadly system failures.

‘Fake news’ claim
The office of the police minister released a statement dismissing a post on Facebook page PNG Daily claiming the minister as author of a misleading statement as “fake news”.

PNG Daily published a story using Police Minister Bryan Kramer’s name as the author and headlined it “Kaiwi just returned from overseas, must be quarantined for 14 days”.

Kaiwi has been charged with wilful murder over the murder of his partner Jenelyn Kennedy.

Kramer said he had taken note of a number of posts on social media questioning why Bhosip Kaiwi was not remanded at Bomana on Tuesday, reports EMTV News.

“When tagged on the question, I commented that I can only assume it’s because he has to go through a 14-day quarantine before being admitted into the general population,” Kramer said.

“I also explained that had he contracted covid-19 and enters the prison system and it spreads infecting the prisoners, then the government would be forced to start releasing prisoners, which is exactly what happened overseas.

“Right now, we don’t know who has covid-19 and who doesn’t. Some people have symptoms and get tested, and some don’t show any symptoms.”

Kramer said he had been advised by National Capital District (NCD) metropolitan superintendent Perou N’Dranou that Kaiwi was not transferred to Bomana on Tuesday because the remand warrant was received late and that prisoners cannot be transferred after 4pm.

The minister added that his comments were made based on recorded covid-19 cases overseas in countries like USA, UK and Brazil where governments were releasing prisoners to avoid spreading the coronavirus.

Port Moresby GBV protesters
Portb Moresby GBV protesters marking the Black Day for Jenelyn yesterday. Image: EMTV News

Accused Kaiwi moved to Bomana
The National reports that Kaiwi was moved to the isolation centre at Bomana prison on Wednesday where he would be remanded.

Rebecca Kuku reports that Police Commissioner David Manning said the Correctional Services department had strict covid-19 quarantine protocols for new admissions such as Kaiwi.

“I am advised by Correction Service (CS) Commissioner Stephen Pokanis that detainees admitted to the Bomana prison will be isolated at its designated isolation centre for 14 days, prior to being released to the general prison facility,” he said.

He said the risk [of covid-19] was high in prison and warders were working with police and health officials to manage it as any spread in prison would be disastrous.

Bosip Kaiwi at Bomana
Bosip Kaiwi, the man charged with murder of his partner Jenelyn Kennedy, has been transferred to Bomana prison on remand. Image: The National

The Pacific Media Centre has a partnership with EMTV News.

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