19 Jun 2006

Elders from island in Solomon's Choiseul Province agree to end whipping

8:38 am on 19 June 2006

Elders and Church leaders of the three communities on Wagina island in Choiseul Province in Solomon Islands have agreed to stop whipping as a form a punishment for people who break village rules.

The Solomon Island Broadcasting Corporation says agreement was reached at a meeting between the elders and members of a high level delegation from the Ministry of Police and Justice led by Sir Baddley Devesi.

During the meeting attended by about a thousand people, the Police Commissioner, Shane Castle, delivered a strong message that it was illegal to whip people who break rules set up by any community in Solomon Islands.

He said the practice must be stopped immediately because it is against the national constitution and international law to continue such practice.

He, and Ken Averre from the Public Solicitor's Office stressed that although it is still a traditional practice by some in Solomon Islands, the law must always prevail over custom and traditional practices which are not good for everyone.

At the meeting the elders also agreed to a suggestion that instead of whipping offenders, they should carry our community work such as cleaning public roads and buildings.