18 Feb 2010

Whipping as a punishment for crimes in Tonga should be wiped

5:04 pm on 18 February 2010

A former Tongan police minister and current MP says the sentence, including whipping, imposed on two young men who escaped prison is cruel and the law needs to be repealed.

A Supreme Court Judge sentenced the young men to 13 years in prison and six lashes of the whip after they escaped from prison.

Mr Edwards says while the whipping appears to have been used as a deterrent, it is inhumane on top of a 13 year sentence for escaping from jail and stealing while on the run.

"I do not support or believe that our young people like that who are over 21 years of age should be whipped while serving a very severe sentence. I think it's a bit cruel."

Clive Edwards says he would support legislative change to eliminate whipping plus the death sentence in Tonga.