UN Urges PNG Against Death Penalty

by Allanah Leahy – EM TV Online

United Nations (UN) leaders around the world supported the commemorative ‘World Day Against the Death Penalty’ last Friday in full awareness of the Papua New Guinean Government’s status on deciding which mode of capital punishment to implement on its people.

UN resident coordinator for PNG, Roy Trivedy, acknowledged the government’s intentions in addressing serious crime but believes that introducing the death penalty is not an effective remedy.
“There is no evidence that introducing the death penalty will act as a deterrent. Statistics from countries that have abolished the death penalty indicate no increase in serious crime,” he said.
UN Independent Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions, Christof Heynes, visited PNG in March this year and strongly encouraged PNG to refrain from using the death penalty. He stated in his preliminary findings:
“While I acknowledge the magnitude of the challenge that the government faces when addressing the high levels of killings and violence in the country, I am of the opinion that the death penalty is not the adequate answer to this situation.
“It provides a false sense of security and diverts attention from the real long-term solutions such as better policing, development and education.”
In support of this, Mr Trivedy also believes there are more effective measures to use in addressing PNG’s high rates of crime.
“Ensuring the police force across the country is well-resourced, both in personnel and equipment, would contribute to achieving consistent and effective law and order which is vital for tackling crime,” he said.
The viewpoint echoes that of UN leaders worldwide. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights also made a statement on eradicating the death penalty, highlighting that the poor, mentally ill, powerless and people from minorities are often disproportionate among those executed.
Mr Heynes is to present his findings and recommendations from his Papua New Guinea visit next year at the 29th United Nations Human Rights Council.
His preliminary findings, which were presented in March this year, detail many observations on Papua New Guinea’s law and order, justice, social and resource sectors among much more.

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