Dr Lawrence Kalinoe, secretary for the Department of Justice and attorney-general, said people had had enough of serious crime and perpetrators should die for their crimes.
“In this country we have very strong support for the implementation of the death penalty,” Mr Kalinoe told the ABC’s Radio Australia.”For example, one of the (radio) talkback shows I went to, 33 people called. Of the 33, three opposed the death penalty, 30 of them fully supported the government’s role, to actually offer to be the executioner.
“That’s how serious the citizens of this country are, serious in trying to make this place, a just safe and secure society.”
Mr Kalinoe’s comments came after the government approved new guidelines for the implementation of death penalty.The death penalty has not been used in PNG for more than 50 years, but was re-enacted last year when the law was amended to include more offences.The National Executive Council then approved three modes of execution – lethal injection, firing squad and hanging.
Since then, 13 people have been waiting on death row, but lack of infrastructure has meant there has been no method to enact the capital punishment.Recent reports suggest both Indonesia and Thailand have stepped in with offers of financial assistance and expertise.Mr Kalinoe said the government wanted to make the country safer in re-enacting the death penalty.
“Papua New Guinea, in particular Port Moresby, is regarded as one of the most dangerous cities of the world,” he said.”That’s a label that us Papua New Guineans live with, sometimes we’re very embarrassed … what a beautiful country but our reputation, fairly or unfairly, has gotten ahead of us, making this place a very unsafe sort of a place to live in.
“One of [the government’s aims] was to strengthen police, strengthen the law and justice sector and implement whatever laws we need to implement.”Last week the Archbishop of the PNG Catholic Church, John Ribat, spoke out against the death penalty and called for more community discussion on the matter.
The crimes in PNG that could attract the death penalty for those convicted included: treason, piracy, wilful murder, aggravated rape, robbery involving violence, and sorcery-related killings.
Source: Radio Australia (ABC)