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Key and McCully must talk to PNG

Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party

Labour’s Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Chris Carter has called on Prime Minister John Key and Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully to lobby Papua New Guinean Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, and Foreign Minister Sam Abal, to scrap plans to reactivate …

31 July 2009 Media Statement
Key and McCully must talk to PNG

Labour’s Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Chris Carter has called on Prime Minister John Key and Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully to lobby Papua New Guinean Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, and Foreign Minister Sam Abal, to scrap plans to reactivate the death penalty in Papua New Guinea.

“The rule of law will be a central theme in discussions at this year’s Pacific Forum meeting in Cairns, because of member states’ concerns about recent events in Fiji.

“What sort of message will Papua New Guinea, the leading Melanesian state, be sending to the rest of the Pacific, particularly fellow Melanesian countries like Fiji and the Solomon Islands, if PNG starts to carry out judicial executions?,” asked Mr Carter

New Zealand and Papua New Guinea have a close friendship that dates back to PNG independence in 1975. Successive New Zealand Prime Ministers have enjoyed a warm relationship with Sir Michael, who has been Prime Minister of PNG for 14 years, and was PNG’s first leader following independence.

“I think Mr. Key needs to remind Sir Michael that, to date, there have been no executions in an independent PNG,” said Mr Carter. “The last hanging took place under the Australian colonial regime in 1954. This is something PNG should be proud of. Reintroducing the death penalty could be seen by many people around the world as a retrograde step harking back to PNG’s colonial era.”

International evidence seems to show little proof that the death penalty actually deters crimes more than other punishments. New Zealand abolished the death penalty in 1961.

“John Key and Murray McCully need to show leadership on this issue and tell our friends in Papua New Guinea that they should reconsider their decision to reintroduce the death penalty.”

ENDS

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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