Film maker killed in PNG

Issue 

Film maker killed in PNG

A Swedish documentary film maker and journalist, Per-Ove Carlsson, has been murdered in Papua New Guinea. The murder took place at the end of April, while he was working on a film about the liberation movement in West Papua.

PNGpolice investigators say he committed suicide, but his family and a colleague in Sweden firmly reject this.

"You don't travel 20,000 kilometres and almost finish your work only to kill yourself", said Paul Carlsson, brother of the dead man. "He would never take his life. He was a cheerful man."

Carlsson, who had made documentaries about Africa for several aid agencies, knew this journey was risky and had prepared himself carefully for the trip. His plan was to make a documentary about the OPM liberation movement. A few days before his death, he was filming in a refugee camp.

Mats Brolin, a Stockholm journalist and colleague of Per-Ove Carlsson, also does not believe the suicide version. "It is absolutely out of the question. I spoke to him by phone only a few hours before he died; he was very afraid that [his phone] was being tapped by the local police, and that he was being followed." Brolin also said that Carlsson was being monitored by Indonesian agents during his work.

Carlsson went to the small town of Kiunga, 10 km from the border with Indonesia, and stayed there with a missionary whom he knew. "When a missionary at the station came to Carlsson's room in the morning, he saw blood streaming from under the door and found him with his throat cut."

According to the preliminary police record, there was a 14 cm wide cut across his throat, yet even so, the police claim that he committed suicide.

Three video-cassettes with a total of nine hours of film are missing.
[From Swedish newspapers, via Pegasus.]