Amnesty International is calling for accountability within the Papua New Guinea security forces.
This comes after 17 unarmed prisoners were shot and killed while trying to escape from Buimo Prison in Lae.
Amnesty had called for officers involved in the killings to be suspended and an independent inquiry held.
But the group's Pacific researcher Kate Schuetze said it was unlikely that any of those involved would even be reprimanded let alone tried for their actions.
She said the tragic incident highlights a broader systemic issue.
"We are hearing of these sorts of deaths all too frequently," he said.
"The excessive use of force by not only prisons officials but the military and the police officers so I think it is an important time in Papua New Guinea as it comes up to the elections to consider what the PNG government coming in can do to address that."
So far three of the 77 escapees from Buimo prison have been captured and police have launched an operation to recapture the 57 who remain at large.