Social payback delaying return of executions in PNG

The regional furore over the Indonesian government’s executions by firing squad of eight convicted drug offenders has turned the spotlight on Papua New Guinea’s plans to re-institute the death penalty there.

The bodies of Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are now on their way home after being removed from the high security Indonesian prison island of Nusakambangan.

Australia’s prime minister Tony Abbott says their deaths are “cruel and unnecessary” and he has taken the rare step of withdrawing Australia’s Ambassador in Jakarta and suspending ministerial contact, in protest.

PNG has not used capital punishment as a penalty for more than 50 years but it was re-instituted two years ago when the law was amended to include more offences.

There are 13 people on death row at the moment, and although the PNG government has made its determination clear to enforce capital punishment, it’s still undecided about which method of execution to use.

Politicians, academics and civil activists last met to discuss the options back in November, and as Adam Connors reports, the sticking point is that question of payback.

Speaker: Fiona Hukula, National Research Institute of Papua New Guinea