January 28, 2014: Papua New Guinea’s Justice Minister says the execution of 13 people currently on death row will happen this year, despite vocal opposition from human rights groups.
Members of the country’s Constitutional Law Reform Commission have recently returned from a tour to see how executions are carried out across the world.
Our correspondent in Papua New Guinea, Todagia Kelola, says that when Parliament resurrected the death penalty last year after a spate of sorcery-related killings and other violent crime, five methods of execution were written in: Lethal injection, electrocution, firing squad, deprivation of oxygen and hanging. He says the Constitutional Law Reform Commission has recently been touring countries including the United States, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia to try and decide which one of those options is the best.
“They basically went and checked out the death penalties and [saw] which one is the most appropriate one for Papua New Guinea to use.”
Todagia Kelola says the commission is working on recommendations for their preferred method, and those will be given to the National Executive Council for it to decide.
“It just depends on cabinet. Once cabinet agrees on the method then they take it to parliament and parliament agrees and then a facility will be constructed for those who have been sentenced to death.”
The justice minister, Kerenga Kua, says the 13 people currently sitting on death row have committed horrendous crimes, including one who slaughtered his family in a premeditated attack.