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  • secfilingqueen May 2, 2013 8:57 AM Flag

    PNG to introduce FIRING SQUADS?


    Papua New Guinea Proposes Firing-Squad Executions

    By ROD McGUIRK Associated Press

    CANBERRA, Australia May 2, 2013 (AP)

    Following a number of high-profile killings related to sorcery, Papua New Guinea's government is pushing for the South Pacific nation's first execution and says firing squads would be a humane and inexpensive method.

    Papua New Guinea's laws allow for the death penalty and about 10 condemned inmates are currently in prison there, but the country was a colony of its near neighbor Australia when the last prisoner was executed — by hanging — in 1954.

    Prime Minister Peter O'Neill said on Wednesday that legislation will be introduced when Parliament resumes in two weeks that would allow the country to implement the death penalty.

    "Among the methods discussed include death by firing squad, which was considered more humane and inexpensive than other methods," O'Neill said in a statement following a Cabinet meeting Wednesday. He said an "execution center" would be attached to a new prison to be built in a remote location.

    The prime minister's office did not immediately explain on Thursday what the hurdles were to executing prisoners that the new legislation would overcome.

    The capital punishment push is part of a raft of tough new measures proposed by the government in response to an increase in high-profile violent crimes in the poor tribal nation of 7 million people, most of whom are subsistence farmers.

    In February, a mob stripped, tortured and bound a woman accused of witchcraft, then burned her alive in front of hundreds of horrified witnesses in the city of Mount Hagan. O'Neill, police and foreign diplomats condemned the killing.

    In July, police arrested 29 people accused of being part of a cannibal cult in Papua New Guinea's jungle interior and charged them with the murders of seven suspected witch doctors.

    Sentiment: Strong Sell

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