Papuan Woman Shot by Police at Polling Station

Police in Papua New Guinea shot a woman holding a child at a polling station in Port Moresby on Monday. 

According to news reports on Friday, Papuan police shot 22-year-old Annaisha Max who was holding her one-year-old son while waiting for the poll to open.  

“They (police) came with force, excessive force. It was unprovoked,” said community leader Emmanuel Kiangu, who witnessed the incident.  

Other witnesses said the police gave no warning and opened fire.  

“They didn’t even say a word. They switched their guns to auto and fired into the crowd, where a lot of us were waiting to vote,” Koip said. 

Reports of the incident also said that police called for reinforcements before they started shooting at an agitated crowd who allegedly gathered around police cars asking where the ballot boxes were after hours of waiting for the voting to begin. 

However, Metropolitan Police Superintendent Gideon Ikumu said Tuesday that he sent reinforcements to “restore order when a rowdy and quarrelsome crowd threatened to harm election officials and disrupted polling.” 

“Rocks were hurled at police, and gunshots were fired to disperse the unruly crowd,” Ikumu added. 

Local reports said fights between rival groups have broken out over allegations of vote-fixing since voting began on July 4. 

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