The National, Thursday 30th May 2013
HUMAN rights watchdog Amnesty International says Papua New Guinea’s move to revive the death penalty is a regressive step, branding it State-sanctioned violence.
Parliament on Tuesday passed laws allowing execution by a range of methods, including hanging, electrocution, lethal injection and firing squad while repealing the Sorcery Act.
Parliament also promised to extend the long-dormant death penalty to cover rape, robbery and murder, actions that Amnesty’s deputy director for the Asia-Pacific Isabelle Arradon said were counter-productive.
“Papua New Guinea has taken one step forward in protecting women from violence by repealing the Sorcery Act, but several giant steps back by moving closer to executions,” she told AAP.
“The taking of a life – whether a person is beheaded by villagers or killed by the state – represents an equally abhorrent violation of human rights.
“The Government has failed to heed calls from civil society to not start killing prisoners again.
“Capital punishment is currently in place for treason, piracy and wilful murder but Papua New Guinea has not carried out an execution since independence in 1954,” Arradon said. – AAP