Why there’s no mercy for Bali Nine duo

Written By komlim puldel on Jumat, 23 Januari 2015 | 20.01

Indonesia has not yet named an execution date and place for two Australians convicted of drug smuggling.

Bali Nine Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran inside the workshop of Kerobokan jail in Bali. Picture: News Corp Source: News Limited

President Joko Widodo could not have made a more nationalistic statement: five of the six people executed on Sunday in Indonesia's newly resumed execution program were foreigners.

It has made the task of saving the lives of the two condemned Australians, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, so much harder.

BALI NINE: Death row blow for Andrew Chan as his clemency is rejected

ANDREW CHAN: My life is … an absolute waste

President of Indonesia Joko Widodo and Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbott during a plenary session at the G20 summit in 2014. Picture: Rob Griffith/Getty Images Source: Getty Images

For Tony Abbott, who has made personal appeals to the Indonesian President, there is no big pay-off in domestic political terms in the unlikely event he or the Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, should succeed in persuading Widodo to make exceptions of Sukumaran and Chan.

The sense is that there is not overwhelming public sympathy for the two.

BREAKS DOWN: Mother of Bali Nine ringleader Myuran Sukumara pleads for clemency

They may have reformed in Kerobokan Prison, but people remember their ruthless stand-over tactics threatening a group of other young Australians to strap up with 8.3kg of heroin, for which Sukumaran and Chan were sentenced to death in 2006.

The Prime Minister's overtures to Widido are therefore a test of his most genuine convictions, because pleading for the men involves no political self-interest.

Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan inside Bali's notorious jail Kerobokan Jail. Picture: News Corp Australia. Source: News Limited

"I have always been against the death penalty," Abbott told me in 2010 as he was making his first run against Kevin Rudd.

"I sometimes find myself thinking, though, that there are some crimes so horrific that maybe that's the only way to adequately convey the horror of what's been done."

He was talking about terror, and this is where our two countries hit a difference of opinion.

Indonesia appears to believe that the prospects for rehabilitating terrorists is better than for drug runners, which explains why so many high-level participants from major terror events, from Bali 2002 onwards, are now walking free after serving relatively short terms.

Indonesian Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo said after the weekend's executions that 40 to 50 people died each day from drugs in Indonesia. That, from the Indonesian perspective, is much higher than the cost of terror.

Bali Nine members (top L-R) Myuran Sukumaran, Andrew Chan and Martin Eric Stephens, 2nd row (from L-R) Chen Si Yi, Tach Duc Thanh Nguyen and Matthew Norman, and 3rd row (from L-R) Scott Rush, Michael Czugaj and Renae Lawrence. Picture: Supplied. Source: News Limited

Prasetyo said he hoped the drug executions — and those to come — would have "a deterrent effect." Whatever the questionable deterrence value, for Widodo there is higher political reward in shooting drug-running foreigners than responding to pleas for their human rights.

Professor Tim Lindsey, from Melbourne University's Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society, outlined to News Corp this week how Widodo's interpretation of human rights is different to ours.

Widodo was swept to power last year on a populist movement, promising to liberate the small businesspeople that are his country's lifeblood from the corruption that sees them forced to survive by effectively paying off government-sponsored protection rackets.

He sees this as the most fundamental human rights abuse, and his key election pledge was to clean it up.

Andrew Chan as a child, a far cry from his life now. Picture: Supplied. Source: News Limited

Myuran Sukumaran as a child in happier times. Picture: Supplied. Source: News Limited

Widodo, who arrived in power as a political outsider with little influence in the Indonesian Congress, also needs to build alliances in order to pass legislation.

The death penalty has widespread support in Indonesia he will not make political friends by sparing drug runners from the bullet.

Indonesia is, as well, in a slightly negative stage of its new-found democracy, marking its ground by taking a nationalistic stance against foreign ownership and interference, further frustrating the Australian clemency case.

What, if anything, can be done for Chan and Sukumaran?

Julie Bishop said there have been more than 50 occasions since 2006 where Australian diplomats or leaders have made one-on-one appeals with their counterparts on behalf of the two men.

The previous president, Susilo Bambamg Yudhoyono, who authorised no executions in the final period of his second term, left the business of killing foreigners to his successor. Widodo has not hesitated.

Seven of the Bali Nine when they were first arrested in Bali on drug trafficking. Picture: AP Source: AP

The Jakarta Post has reported that there are around 138 people are on death row in Indonesia, half of them for drug crimes, and one third of all are foreigners. The President knocked back Sukumaran's final clemency appeal last week and Chan got his bad news on Thursday.

Australia continues to make appeals regardless of Widodo's apparent intractability.

There is no diplomatic user manual for handling this case, because so few Australians have been executed abroad since Harry Breaker Morant and Peter Handcock were shot for war crimes in South Africa, in 1902.

Three men were hanged in Malaysia: Kevin Barlow and Michael Chambers, in 1986; and Michael McAuliffe in 1993, all for heroin. Nguyen Tuong Van was hanged for heroin in Singapore in 2005.

They died despite the efforts of Australian governments at the time. And efforts were made, though sometimes it didn't appear that way to the public.

Kevin Barlow (L) and Brian Chambers (R) who were hanged in Malaysia in 1986. Picture: Supplied. Source: News Corp Australia

The approach is always to speak softly, because yelling won't work. History shows speaking softly has never worked either, but it gives a better setting for hope than open diplomatic hostilities.

John McCarthy, president of the Australian Institute of International Affairs, served as Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, Mexico, Thailand, the United States, Indonesia, Japan and as High Commissioner to India.

As one of our most experienced ambassadors, he says there are no well-trodden diplomatic pathways that offer guidance on how the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister's office should plead for Sukumaran and Chan.

"There is no fixed way in which you'd make representations," says McCarthy. "You need to work formally, through the foreign ministry in Jakarta, to channel your essential messages.

"Then you would approach the President's office, and the President himself." That has already been done, to no apparent avail. But you keep your calm.

Australian Nguyen Tuong Van, 25, was hanged in Singapore for heroin. Picture: Supplied. Source: News Limited

Michael Dennis McAuliffe (real name Chris Morrison) was executed in Malaysia for heroin trafficking in 1993. Picture: Supplied. Source: News Corp Australia

"There's a real risk if you get too histrionic it just causes more problems," he says. "If you go in too hard, my view would be that any possibility of a pardon is diminished because it could give rise to a perception in Indonesia that was pressure being applied.

"No Indonesian leader would wish to be seen to be yielding to foreign pressure."

Brazil and the Netherlands withdrew their ambassadors after two of their citizens were executed at the weekend. Abbott has not explicitly ruled out that this could happen if Indonesia announced execution dates for Sukumaran and Chan.

But Abbott's line has so far been measured, stating that he believes the men have reformed and don't deserve to die. He said it was better to have representatives in Jakarta, doing what they could.

Despite Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan's rehabilitation programs which they started inside the jail both lost their bid for clemency. Picture: News Corp Australia. Source: News Limited

McCarthy says he does not believe there was anything personal in Widodo declining Sukumaran's last appeal for clemency.

"I don't think the Indonesian President is lining up Australia," he says. "After all, their relations with the Dutch are pretty good and they executed one of their people.

"The important thing at this time is using the right tone. The views expressed have to be non-confrontational."

Melbourne barrister Julian McMahon, who represented Nguyen Tuong Van and gives legal assistance to Sukumaran and Chan, is aware that the last thing any death-row client needs is a public hate campaign directed against the country that passed sentence, or a private diplomatic war.

McMahon recalls that as Nguyen approached his death, the Australian High Commission in Singapore, headed by Gary Quinlan, who now serves as Australia's representative at the UN, were "of enormous use" just by making themselves available.

Opinions over whether Chan and Sukumaran should be execute are divided. Picture: Supplied. Source: AP

It was all they could do.

"They were great help, they facilitated a lot of stuff, made meetings happen and did everything we asked them, basically," says McMahon.

There is little chance that the Australian mission in Jakarta will be working behind the scenes, issuing trade threats or making dire warnings about bilateral damage.

This is not a game of clever strategy but when where Australia must simply put its best face forward. It appears to be doing this.

Perhaps there is one thing that could help, though it would require Widodo arriving, under his own steam, at a new position as a major international leader.

It is that the world's had just about enough of executions. The Islamic State has ensured, by taking execution to new heights of revulsion, that it is being redefined as a tool to murder the innocent, rather than the guilty.

This reporter can be contacted at paul.toohey@news.com.au


Anda sedang membaca artikel tentang

Why there’s no mercy for Bali Nine duo

Dengan url

http://duniasikasik.blogspot.com/2015/01/why-thereas-no-mercy-for-bali-nine-duo.html

Anda boleh menyebar luaskannya atau mengcopy paste-nya

Why there’s no mercy for Bali Nine duo

namun jangan lupa untuk meletakkan link

Why there’s no mercy for Bali Nine duo

sebagai sumbernya

0 komentar:

Posting Komentar

techieblogger.com Techie Blogger Techie Blogger