Tongan talk of the death penalty for worst drug offenders

Lord Fakafanua
Tonga's Speaker Lord Fakafanua ... "drugs offences are on the rise and at a very alarming rate in Tonga". Image: Koro Vaka'uta/RNZ Pacific

RNZ Pacific

The Tongan legislature is now considering the Illicit Drugs Control (Amendment) Bill 2021, which was introduced as a private members’ bill by the Speaker, Lord Fakafanua.

He wants a mandatory death sentence for offenders who traffic 5 kilograms or more of a Class A drug.

Matangi Tonga reported Fakafanua as saying “drugs offences are on the rise and at a very alarming rate in Tonga”.

He said 12 percent of the prison population were illicit drug offenders, while they made up half the admissions to the psychiatric ward.

Fakafanua also said most reoffended.

Several other pieces of legislation aimed at getting on top of Tonga’s drug problem, were now before Parliament.

They include the Intoxicating Substances Bill 2021 and the Therapeutic Goods (Amendment) Bill 2021.

The Illicit Drugs Control (Amendment) Bill 2021 proposes:

Tonga is one of just two Pacific states — the other being Papua New Guinea — that still has the death penalty on its books.

But it has not used it in 40 years.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.



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