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United Nations in PNG welcomes announcement of the repeal of death penalty

The United Nations in Papua New Guinea is welcomes yesterday’s vote in Parliament to repeal the provisions of the Criminal Code Act prescribing the death penalty.

In doing so, Papua New Guinea is in line with the global trend towards death penalty abolition, along with some 170 out of 193 UN member nations with a variety of legal systems, traditions, cultures, and religious backgrounds which have either abolished the death penalty or do not practice it.

There is no human right more fundamental than the right to life. Abolition of the death penalty in a country contributes to the enhancement and progressive development of human rights in general for its inhabitants.

“The step taken by the Government is highly commendable and is an important milestone toward further strengthening the enjoyment of all human rights by everyone in Papua New Guinea,” said Resident Coordinator a.i., Dirk Wagener.

While the UN appreciates that Papua New Guinea has not carried out an execution since its
independence, this step is critical toward strengthening the rule of law through greater consistency and predictability of the criminal justice process.

Public confidence that crimes will be investigated and prosecuted, and those found guilty punished, fairly, and consistently and in line with respect for human rights, is critical for a stronger rule of law in Papua New Guinea.

Victims and witnesses, including victims of sorcery-accusation related violence, must also receive the necessary support.

The United Nations in Papua New Guinea continues to support the Government and the
people of Papua New Guinea in their pursuit to realize the full enjoyment of universal human
rights.

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