Solomon Islands riots: 100 arrested as police chief warns ‘nobody above law’

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Solomon Islands police arrest a suspect
Solomon Islands police arrest a suspect - among at least 100 arrested after three days of looting in the capital Honiara. Image: Derrick Au/FB

Asia Pacific Report newsdesk

Solomon Islands police have arrested more than 100 suspects as Honiara townspeople clean up after three days of rioting and looting in Chinatown following a peaceful protest.

The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) confirmed this in a statement.

“I must make it very clear here that no one is above the law,” said Police Commissioner Mostyn Mangau.

“We are expected to live and make decisions within the principles of the rule of law regardless of our positions in our society. I therefore forewarned that if anybody is found in breach of such illegal activities, police will not hesitate to arrest and deal with him/her.”

Commissioner Mangau appealed to people to “stop the looting and burning”.

“Nothing will benefit you with such activities. Let me reiterate my call to those involved in those illegal activities to stop.

“These commercial infrastructures are the beating heart for the revenue of this country and that is where the benefits drift to service all our domestic services, even our wages and daily consumption.”

‘Respect each other’
The commissioner said: “My good residents of Honiara City, as we all know, Honiara City is a multicultural society. Therefore, I as your Police Commissioner hereby appeal to each one living in the city to respect each other, as well as our visiting friends from abroad.”

He asked people to ask themselves: “Is our actions fair to all concerned? Will our actions build goodwill and better friendships? Will our actions be beneficial to all concerned?”

Commissioner Mangau said police were working closely with the office of the Director Public Persecution (DPP) for possible charges to be laid against suspects.

SI$227m loss estimated
The Central Bank of the Solomon Islands has estimated the economic loss from rioting to be at least SI$227 million (NZ$42 million), the SBM Online reports.

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