Regarding Rights

Academic and activist perspectives on human rights


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Human Rights concerns with PNG reinstating the death penalty

Image from http://www.amnesty.ie/about-us

Image from http://www.amnesty.ie/about-us

By Betheli O’Carroll

TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland

Papua New Guinea (PNG) has amended their legislation to extend the death penalty to cover more criminal offences. Previously, the death penalty was applicable to treason, wilful murder, piracy, and ‘attempted piracy with personal violence’ in PNG,[1] but it has not been used in practice for more than 50 years.[2] Consequently, Amnesty International, which describes the death penalty as ‘the ultimate denial of human rights… the premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state in the name of justice’,[3] currently classifies PNG as ‘abolitionist in practice’.[4] In 2013, however, PNG legislated to extend the death penalty to crimes of aggravated rape, ‘robbery with violence’, and ‘sorcery-related killings’.[5] Continue Reading →