PNG deputy opposition leader stands against death penalty

1:15 pm on 31 May 2016
Papua New Guinea MP Sam Basil.

Sam Basil. Photo: Supplied

The deputy opposition leader in Papua New Guinea Sam Basil will not support the death penalty being applied.

Last week, Nauru abolished the death penalty, leaving Papua New Guinea and Tonga as the only Pacific states retaining the legislation.

Two years ago, PNG reactivated the penalty to combat soaring levels of violent crime, but that move has been condemned internationally and last year the government indicated it could change its position.

Mr Basil said his personal view is the death penalty is a deterrent, but his constituents don't agree, and it is their views he represents.

"Any debate in Parliament I will support to remove that penalty because my people do not want," he said. "At the back of my mind if I can convince them in the future the subject will be a hot issue to still debate.

"We have to make sure that whatever government comes into play in the future we need to make sure we look after law and order issues to make sure we don't continue to have more than five people killed every week."

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