Media Council condemns ‘mob rule’ to intimidate female students, media at UPNG

UPNG Student Representative Council female vice-president Nancy Poglau 110621
UPNG Student Representative Council female vice-president Nancy Poglau addresses the protest over ongoing sexual harassment by some male students at the university's Waigani campus. Image: PNG Post-Courier

Pacific Media Watch newsdesk

The Media Council of Papua New Guinea has condemned an attack by male students at the University of Papua New Guinea on a media team covering a protest staged by female students on Tuesday, reports the PNG Post-Courier.

The council said that the actions of these students was 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 students, who are supposed to be part of the elite of our tertiary student population, could use a mob rule approach, to harass and intimidate their female colleagues as well as the media.

The students were protesting against increased incidents of harassment against female students, and media representatives were there doing their job.

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 leading university under the pretext of safeguarding the institution’s reputation.

The council believes strongly that continued coverage and exposure of ongoing social problems such as this, will help concerned authorities and the university administration address them, to make the university 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 to ensure that female students’ safety and wellbeing on campus is guaranteed.

Republished with permission.

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