Churches rally against death penalty in Kiribati
Churches will lobby against the death penalty in Kiribati
Churches in Kiribati are mobilising against a new bill to bring back the death penalty.
The Kiribati parliament has passed the first reading of the bill which the President Anote Tong says is a deterrent for deliberate killings in the country.
His comment comes after five women recently lost their lives at the hands of their husbands or former partners.
But the chairman of the Kiribati council of churches Bishop Paul Mea says they will fight the bill all the way.
He told Koroi Hawkins he was surprised the bill even made it to parliament.
PAUL MEA: Well we just heard about it in the last meeting of parliament it has been introduced and now they are going to inquire from the people what they think of it before they vote on it.
KOROI HAWKINS: What do you understand about this bill?
PM: Well it says that if you kill people you will be killed in return as a punishment.
KH: What is the feeling on the ground what is the general feeling with other Kiribati people about this bill?
PM: Well that's what I said we have to get a common stand with other Christian churches and then we are going to contact our people to take the same stand.
KH: So you will be mobilising or you will be lobbying against this bill is that correct?
PM: Yes we will be mobilising our people and go against that bill.
KH: Why do you think the politicians think it is necessary to bring in this bill.
PM: Because there's so many people now there's so many murders that are happening. Especially during this year, especially against the women the wives. And we dont know maybe that's why the reaction of that member of the house is a kind of a move to stop this killing from the husband to their wives. Because now their is a punishment that those who commit murder they are imprisoned for life.
KH: If this is meant to be a solution does the church in lobbying in mobilising against this bill are you offering a counter solution?
PM: Well killing the people who commit murder is not a solution it is only a punishment but it dont stop killing.
KH: So what do you think could be a solution?
PM: We'll still hold to that first punishment that those who commit murder will be imprisoned for life. But our main stand is that introducing capital punishment is not going to do any good or any change to the people of Kiribati. The thing that is going to stop them, is the education. Preparing the man and wife before their marriage. To understand what love is. To give them input on what the church teaches about real love between a husband and wife. Counselling, introducing counselling for those who have problems. But capital punishment is not going to give any solution to stop the killing or murder in Kiribati.
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