Capital punishment in Papua New Guinea

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Capital punishment is legal in Papua New Guinea, but has not been imposed for over twenty years. Amnesty International currently categorises Papua New Guinea as abolitionist in practice.[1]

Under the Papua New Guinea Criminal Code, the offences of treason, piracy, and attempted piracy are punishable by death.[2] The death penalty for willful murder was abolished in 1970,[3] but reinstated in 1991.[3][4]

Papua New Guinea's chosen method of execution is hanging.[5] The country's last execution was before independence, in 1954.[3] Since 1991, death sentences have been handed down, but no executions have been carried out, due to an absence of regulations surrounding the process.[6]

In July 2011, five men were sentenced to death for the willful murder of eight people in a boat in the Duke of York Islands in 2007.[7]

In 2008, Papua New Guinea abstained from the vote on the UN moratorium on the death penalty.[3] In 2011, it opposed a similar moratorium.[3]

In May 2013, Papua New Guinea's parliament voted to implement the death penalty, extend it to cases of aggravated rape and robbery, and to permit executions by electrocution, hanging, lethal injection, suffocation or firing squad.[8]


  1. ^ "Death Penalty: Countries Abolitionist in Practice". Amnesty International. Retrieved 2011-07-21. 
  2. ^ Papua New Guinea Criminal Code, sections 37, 81, 82.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Papua New Guinea". Hands Off Cain. Retrieved 2011-07-21. 
  4. ^ Papua New Guinea Criminal Code, section 299
  5. ^ Papua New Guinea Criminal Code, section 614.
  6. ^ "PNG 'waiting for death penalty guidelines'". ABC (Australia) News. 2009-07-07. Retrieved 2011-07-21. 
  7. ^ "PNG court sentences five men to death for murder". Radio New Zealand International. 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2011-07-21. 
  8. ^ Liam Fox (2013-05-29). "PNG death penalty condemned as 'barbaric' by Amnesty International". ABC News. Retrieved 2013-05-29. 

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