13 Aug 2004

Solomon Islands prisoners finding pardons not easy to come by, says John Roughan

3:50 pm on 13 August 2004

The Advisor to Solomon Islands Development Trust, John Roughan, says he doubts parliament can step in and grant amnesty to inmates at Honiara's Rove prison

An incident at the Prison on Tuesday saw about 200 inmates involved in a riot, which included issuing a petition to the police minister alleging reckless behaviour by Ramsi police - a claim denied by police.

The petition also involved various aspects relating to amnesty and calls for various pardons.

Mr Roughan says the incident reflects a realisation by inmates that amnesty and pardons are no longer dished out automatically.

He says he can't see how parliament could step in to grant amnesty.

"There's no torture, there's no things that we would consider unreasonable being a prisoner. But I think underlying all this is the fact that we've grown up with the idea that amnesty can be given just like, you know, making a phone call."