3 May 2013

Australian government called on to oppose PNG push for death penalty

1:43 pm on 3 May 2013

The Australian Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, is being urged to speak out against Papua New Guinea's plan to implement the death penalty during his visit today.

The government of Peter O'Neill announced this week a plan to activate PNG's dormant death penalty sentence for violent crimes such as murder.

Mr O'Neill has reportedly indicated the government may introduce death by firing squad as a humane method of execution.

The policy announcement comes after a public outcry in PNG and internationally following a spate of murders and rapes across the country.

A senior lawyer at the Human Rights Law Centre, Daniel Webb, says the strict penalty will not deter violent criminals.

He says governments will not stop violence by perpetrating it themselves.

Mr Webb says Mr Carr should leave his PNG counterpart in no doubt Australia is opposed to the death penalty at home and abroad.