Could people push to end executions in Indonesia? 12



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The controversy surrounding Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran has polarised both Australians and Indonesians, and with the latest round of executions delayed in the last few days, there is some hope that Indonesia might soon reconsider their legislation on capital punishment. In an interview with Al Jazeera over the weekend, President Joko Widodo said that the Indonesian Government would be open to abolishing the death penalty if the Indonesian people wanted change.

“The constitution and existing laws still allow (the death penalty),” he said. “But in the future if it is necessary to change it and the people really want it, why not”.

The comment comes on the day when a video has been released of Andrew Chan in Kerobokan prison, talking to the camera about what he would say to his 15 year old self, just days after six people were executed back in January 2015. He talks about what it takes to get a second chance in life in a deeply emotional and personal insight.

At the same time, another one of his Nigerian death row inmates has had words from his last letter to his girlfriend published by the media, and one of his last wishes was that his death was the last execution in Indonesia. In a letter reportedly obtained by News Limited, he has criticised the Indonesian justice system, saying that the real drug dealers remain on the streets, while others who cannot afford to pay bribes to get themselves through the justice system are facing the death penalty. The letter, said to be by Nigerian Raheem Agbaje Salami, apologises for his crime, and says “my last hope” is that the execution of myself is the last in Indonesia, because life and death is in God’s hands only”.

“Drug dealers are mostly free because they have the ability to ‘play’ the law. They are free and conduct drug transactions and that’s why drug eradication is difficult… I know, and went through the situation where because of my poverty I can’t engage in that practice [bribery of police and judges] so I received a heavy sentence”, The Nigerian newspaper said. Salami was sentenced to death for tying to smuggle heroin into Indonesia.

In the same weekend, a emotive letter to his girlfriend, written in Indonesian, was uncovered by a local Nigerian media. “I want to thank and say goodbye to my beloved sweetheart, Angela Intan, who has stood beside me through happiness and sadness. Thank you for everything, for the time we spent together. Knowing and loving you has been a gift and even though it was only for a short time, it has had a deep meaning in my life”.

Do you think that this should and could lead to the end of executions in Indonesia?

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. I really wish that the Indonesian President would listen to his wife and son on these executions as they are against the death penalty. I pray for these people on death row in a prison cell in isolation awaiting guards to come late at night to take them to their deaths by firing squad where they don;t always die straight away and sometimes can be in agony up to 15 minutes before they die. I am against this brutal form of killing people. May God intervene in this terrible saga.

  2. I am totally against capital punishment and this form of torture is barbaric in my eyes.
    As that young Nigerian man in jail for smuggling heroin, suggested, he was the monkey whereas the organ grinders go free

  3. Yes a referendum on abolishing capital punishment should go ahead now..its what everyone wants. .take these men of execution island..they r more valuable alive not dead!

  4. Last chance. Stop Tony Abbott bashing the Indonesian Judicial System an threatening them with reprisals. Call Widoko and congratulate him on the rehabilitation system that Australia can emulate. Offer to take back the pair and imprison them here so their families can get access. Use them here to help our inmates.

  5. Hmm, I am totally against any form of murder be it against human or animal , but in regards to putting these criminals in our prisons we should not have to pay for their life long accommodation ( check how much it costs to house a prisoner per year ) fact is these 2 were on their 4 th drug run , and all the razzmatazz about rehabilitation makes me sick, shades of Michelle Corby ! they have not given up the name of who their bosses are , and he only became ordained not five years ago not two years ago but two weeks !! I am a bit sceptical , the whole side show has dragged on as they and the legal people invent new ways to appeal, and has no one especially mr bully abbot not heard about the Asisn saving face However what really affronts me is the hypocrisy of the let’s boycott Indonesia campaign while closing the eyes to Certain states in U S of A and really how many times have we heard or seen the names of the others on Indonesia death row!??

  6. No one has the right to take another life, whether it is by the “legal” system or not. It is not only the person being executed (Legal murder I call it) but it is the whole family being made to suffer for the crime or crimes committed. Is that fair? Haven’t the whole family been punished enough along with their sons?

  7. We are all getting a bit sick of this.
    They should have been taken and executed 10 years ago, straight after being found guilty.
    I disagree with shooting them. They should be taken to the island and injected with the deadly drugs that they were trying to kill other people with.
    One wonders what ever happened to the drugs?

  8. What they did was wrong but they shouldn’t have to pay with their life. Nobody has the right to take another persons life.

  9. The drug trade is no different from any other trade in that it relies on the principle of supply and demand. If there were no addicts, there would be no business for drug smugglers. What these boys did was stupid and greedy but do you really think that killing these young men will stop the drug trade or stop people from becoming drug addicts?

  10. Are people as outraged by the death penalty in USA or public beheadings in Saudi Arabia who are our allies, or are we just interfering in Indonesia’s judicial system?

  11. Didn’t realise it was their 4th drug run. So it finally caught up with them. Did they think they would never get caught? If it was their first run I might have some sympathy. They have only been rehabilitated because by doing that they thought there maybe a chance of being released. What else would they do in prison? I know a family who are going through hell with their daughter & son in law who got involved in drugs. Has had a huge impact on their health. 3 grandchildren caught up in it going through a sad and dreadful time. Destroys families. Heartbreaking watching it destroying their lives. At their age they should be enjoying life, now it looks like all their plans are put on hold as they’ll end up looking after 3 grandchildren. There would be thousands of families going through the same crisis.

  12. I really wish….the Indos would shoot these two CRIMINALS and get it off our TV! We DO NOT want our CRims back…but they can have their anytime!

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