28 Mar 2011

Pacific only region without executions in past decade

1:55 pm on 28 March 2011

Amnesty International says the Pacific has been the only region in the world not to have carried out any executions or delivered death sentences in the last decade.

It says the Pacific is also well on its way to becoming the first region to be free of the death penalty.

Only four Pacific nations still have the death penalty in their laws: Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Tonga and Fiji.

The Deputy Director of Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand, Rebecca Emery, says it will now be working hard to ensure these countries remove the death penalty from their laws.

"While you have a sentence like that on your law books, it's capable of being enacted. So that would be our concern. Even though from the region, I mean there's been no threat of that, it is there. And to completely remove that then you do have to change laws."

Rebecca Emery says out of the four Pacific countries that still have the death penalty, Fiji has committed to abolishing it.