Abused by Police, Victim Takes on Reforming the System

Unlawfully detained and beaten by police, a New Guinea activist is reforming the system through human rights education.

Augustine Brian was born in Papua New Guinea in the village of Karenda, a place steeped in superstition. But as primitive as some of the villages are in the remote Southern Highlands of the country, Karenda elders believed in education, and his village invested in sending Brian to Port Moresby, the capital city, where he graduated from college.

Augustine Brian is bringing human rights to life in the Southern Highlands province of Papua New Guinea.
Brian became a provincial project coordinator for World Vision, a global Christian relief, development and advocacy organization, and returned home to take on a leadership role in his community and to mentor youth.

Then, in 2013, he came face to face with the flaws in the system when he was unlawfully detained and beaten by rogue cops. And although his injuries left him incapacitated for several months, and despite his identifying and pressing charges on those who abused him, the officers were never brought to justice.

Brian decided to pursue reform rather than revenge, and searching online, he found the website of United for Human Rights and ordered the educator package. When it arrived, he studied the materials and gained a deep appreciation for human rights and the urgency of raising awareness of these rights throughout his country. Not only could it address police brutality but a host of other human rights issues. Papua New Guinea has one of the highest crime rates internationally. Nearly half the population is illiterate and living in poverty.

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