29 May 2013

Amnesty condemns PNG death penalty reinstatement

7:05 pm on 29 May 2013

The decision by the Papua New Guinea parliament to reinstate the death penalty has been sharply criticised by Amnesty International.

Capital punishment was reactivated on Tuesday after being dormant since the 1950s, and will apply for crimes including murder, aggravated rape, pack rape, or crimes where the victim is under 10 years of age.

But Amnesty International's Pacific researcher, Kate Schuetze, says the decision is an horrific backwards step for PNG.

She says international evidence shows it is ineffective in deterring violent crime and the government should instead invest in trying to prevent violence.

"One of the things we've continuously heard is that the police are under-resourced. They need further training, they need further man-power on the ground and government's rushed to a quick fix to this problem and we say it's a solution that's not going to work and it also violates the most fundamental human right, the right to life."

Kate Schuetze says she hopes the New Zealand and Australian governments will use their diplomatic power to convince PNG to repeal the legislation.