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MP wants cells at Maka to avoid experience of tying people to flag poles

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Houenipela in Parliament today
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Opposition MP and the Member for Small Malaita Rick Houenipela urges the government to quickly build a cell at Maka Police station in the Southern Region of Malaita to avoid those arrested there from being tied to flag poles like his relatives in one of the incidents at the station in the past.

Houenipela made the comment in his concluding remarks on a series of questions he asked on the Police Minister, Jimson Tanangada today regarding Maka police station on its rehabilitation which also include a new office building and staff houses.

In response, Tanagada confirmed work is underway and the new facilities should be completed by the end of June or early in the third quarter of the year.

On the houses, Tanagada said they planned to build three new buildings and officers will move in once those are completed.

However, one issue that Houenipela drew the minister’s attention to was the importance of a cell at the station.

Hounipela said cells are important as they are the place to detain people who are arrested whilst they are being investigated.

He recalled that in the past because of the lack of cells at Maka his relatives had to be tied to a flag poles in the police station.

Hounipela told Parliament that when they were arrested and taken to Maka there were no cells – so the officer in charge had told them to be tied to flag poles.

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Also supporting the establishment of cells at Maka, the Leader of the Independent Group, Peter Kenilorea said: “We still need cells so that human treatment for them (those arrested) is also available.”

Leader of Opposition Matthew Wale also questioned Tanagada on what they are doing now in the absence of a cell, in response the minister said police would have to transport people to Auki where they will be detained. He admitted that it is an expensive exercise.

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