Amnesty: Bougainville Peace Agreement

BPA (E)(1):

331. The parties confirm that grants of amnesty and pardon (as agreed in the Lincoln Agreement) for all persons involved in crisis-related activities or convicted of offenses arising out of crisis-related activities should be expedited, and will co-operate to ensure that they are.

Lincoln Agreement:

10. Amnesty and Pardon

The Papua New Guinea National Government will:

(a) Grant amnesty to persons involved in crisis-related activities on all sides;

(b) Following receipt of advice from the Advisory Committee on the Power of Mercy, recommend pardons for persons convicted of crisis-related offenses.

Implementation History

2001

Minimum Implementation

The PNG Government Attorney General sought an opinion from the Supreme Court on whether amnesty and/or pardon could be granted under the constitution to persons in the commission of offences in the Bougainville crisis.1

  • 1. "Papua New Guinea: Court asked to rule on Bougainville pardons," BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific, October 9, 2001.
2002

Minimum Implementation

On August 1, 2002, the PNG government approved an amnesty from prosecution for war crimes committed during the bloody 13-year secessionist struggle in Bougainville, where up to 15,000 people died. Exceptions to the amnesty were made for crimes related to infanticide and sexual offenses.2

  • 2. "Papua New Guinea approves amnesty," The Globe and Mail (Canada), August 1, 2002, PA15.
2003

Full Implementation

A former commander of Papua New Guinea's Defence Force was believed to have become the first person to seek amnesty under the provisions of the Bougainville Peace Agreement. He faced charges of sedition over the 1997 Sandline affair.3

  • 3. "Papua New Guinea former defense commander seeks amnesty," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, June 10, 2003.
2004

Full Implementation

No further information is available on how the amnesty law was carried out once the government had approved the amnesty provision. 

2005

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2006

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2007

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2008

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2009

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2010

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.