UN HIGH COMMISSIONER ON HUMAN RIGHTS
THE UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICE has expressed serious concern over Papua New Guinea’s announcement that it will resume the death penalty more than half a century since it last carried out an execution, stressing this would represent “a major setback” for the country.
“The High Commissioner has written to the prime minister stating her concerns about the planned resumption of the death penalty, and is calling on the Government to maintain its moratorium,” said Rupert Colville (pictured), spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, during a press briefing in Geneva
Colville said there is growing number of UN member states that have abolished the practice, including 11 in the Pacific.
“Resuming the death penalty again would be a major setback, especially after so many other States have subsequently abolished the death penalty or adopted moratoriums,” Colville said.
“While recognizing the challenge presented by the recent alarming rise in violent crime in PNG, including rape, torture and murder, the use of capital punishment has never been proved to be a more effective deterrent than other forms of punishment,” he said.
In the same briefing, Mr. Colville also drew attention to the rise in executions in Indonesia, where four men have been executed since the country resumed the death penalty in March.
“It is a very unfortunate development as Indonesia was close to establishing a moratorium on executions.”