Parents call for death penalty

Hundreds march in Port Vila to demand an end to violence against women in Vanuatu. Photo: Mich-McConell-Wilson

THE parents of a six-yearold girl who was allegedly abducted, raped and murdered in Vanuatu are calling for the death penalty to be introduced.
Police investigations are ongoing although local media report the prime suspect, a prisoner out on parole, is in police custody.
The call from the victim’s parents and immediate family has stirred up public debate about penalties for serious criminal offences in the country.
“We are saying no; no to capital punishment. So this will be picked up by the government but as far as I understand people are not in favour, even the chiefs of these islands and our custom leaders do not recognise that,” said Mr Nafuki.
The Chairman of the Vanuatu Christian Council Allen Nafuki said he would be convening a meeting of the council this week to discuss the issue but said he personally felt there was no place for capital punishment in Vanuatu.
The chief executive of the Vanuatu National Council of Women, Leias Cullwick, said she supported the family’s call for capital punishment to be introduced saying serious deterrents are long overdue.
“The country needs to have a death penalty because now the issue sort of happen recently with very innocent young children. It is just not acceptable,” said Ms Leias Cullwick.