Indonesia Executions Controversy BY Teagz

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Indonesia is scheduled to execute 11 people in April/May, and there had been some controversy regarding the Bali Nine ring leaders, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran to be executed in the next set of executions in Indonesia, with their clemency-plea being rejected by Indonesian President Joko Widodo without “reviewing the applicant properly”, and at time of writing further pleas had been rejected also.

Along with Australia, France and Brazil are upset with the way the Indonesian President has handled these executions, with Brazil and Holland pulling their Ambassador from Indonesia after the execution of  Brazil and Netherland’s citizens in January, both in relation to drugs.

Australia caused a controversy when Prime Minister Tony Abbott made a comment about “the Tsunami Relief Aid” in which Australia gave more than 1 Billion dollars to Indonesia, and how he linked it to the clemency bid for Chan and Sukumaran. It was not helpful and came across to Indonesia as making threats which upset the Nation, creating a campaign to pay back the money, protests, and reference to the Prime Minister as “Shylock”. The campaign has been called “#coinforaustralia”. This ‘plea’ for the two Bali nine members on death row only resulted in sparking tensions between Australia and Indonesia.

Of the other 9 prisoners that were on death row at time of writing, four are Indonesian, and one Brazilian, French, Ghanian, Nigerian and a Philippine citizen. Now of the 11 on death row, 8 are on death row because of drug related offenses, which show that only the Indonesian Police, Courts and Government are cracking down on drugs offenses committed by foreigners but also by locals even if out of the 8 there is only 1 Indonesian person.  The other 3 on death row are for crimes such as murder and rape.

Just because Indonesia is trying to appeal the death penalties for its citizens in other countries doesn’t mean it can’t crack down on drugs in its own country and place foreign citizens on death row for it. It also doesn’t mean it’s okay for countries like Australia, who no longer have the death penalty, to interfere and expect Indonesia to overturn the death penalty of two of its citizens when they have done it in the past. Australia has no right to interfere in Indonesian Law, just like Indonesia has no right to interfere in other country’s laws.

Indonesia is trying to clean up its drug problem the best way it can. The Indonesian Attorney-General has stated this by saying to “I hope the public would understand, and it’s time for us, including families to see this as our responsibility, and let each of us prevent the widespread of drug abuse.”  Even AFP Commissioner Mick Keetly has said, “I stand by the police and what they’ve done … The Federal Court actually made a decision saying not only had they acted lawfully but they acted in accordance with government policy.”

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