Indonesia’s turnaround on death penalty means heartbreak for two Australian families

There are two Australian families facing what’s meant to be a happy time of year with heavy hearts. There are

There are two Australian families facing what’s meant to be a happy time of year with heavy hearts. There are two Australian families that lost their sons to the firing squad in Indonesia after 10 years in prison. And there are two Australia families who will be sickened by the latest news from Indonesia: they have halted executions.

According to the country’s top security minister, the current death row inmates will not be facing the firing squad in the near future.

Luhut Binsar Panjaitan told a news conference the government’s priority was to address the economic slowdown, during bilateral meetings aimed at boosting trade with the Australian government.

It’s a step to patch up the damaged relationship fractured by the killing of two Australian citizens: Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan in April.

“We haven’t thought about executing a death penalty with the economic conditions like this,” Mr Panjaitan told reporters in Jakarta.

BBC reports Indonesian correspondents have said no executions are scheduled at this time, a stark contrast from the hurried nature of Chan and Sukumaran’s last days.

Indonesia’s economic growth dropped below 5% in 2015, and executions cost not only government money, but tourism to the country as Western nations generally oppose their hard line on prisoners.

This year Indonesia executed 14 people by firing squad, including citizens from Brazil, the Netherlands and Nigeria, as well as Australia, damaging relationships and losing ambassadors from the majority.

Currently, there are dozens of people awaiting their fate, although none are Australians.

It remains to be seen whether Chan and Sukumaran would still be alive today if executions were halted, but it’s a question that their families will no doubt be thinking about.

Fierce campaigner and loyal friend to the executed men, Ben Quilty, said he was speechless today about the backflip:


Tell us, what are your thoughts? Is this a cruel twist or a step in the right direction?


  1. as humans we.face choices everyday of our lives some impact more than others they made theirs it was the wrong choice

  2. Let us all remember…they were drug pushers, who made young idiots carry drugs.They did not care about the heartbreak that has befallen many families of drug addicts…..they did not care about the young drug mules and the heartbreak their families face everyday..

    • Drug addicts are responsible for their own actions. No-one deserves the death penalty.

      • Pamela  

        I agree, Yvonne!
        No-one twists users’ arms to take drugs. It is a personal ‘feel good’ choice for them.
        Personal choices; personal consequences; personal responsibility.
        Is a case of demand and supply – no demand = no supply.

    • And the cuprits from the Bali Bombing live, where’s the justice here. These two men didn’t deserve the death penalty.

    • When do drug addicts actually take responsibility for their own stupidity. If there was no ready market for these drugs there would be no drug smugglers or dealers.

    • Maureen Lane, yes they did. They went into that country knowing that drug trafficking carries the death penalty. Sure, they were made an example of but stop and think how many families lost a loved one because of the drugs these 2, and many more made available to them. I think the term Drug Mules should be replaced with Murderers. Cause that’s what they do….murder people via drugs

    • Let us all remember how old they were when arrested, and how long they had been in jail, 10yrs. The Government are disgusting criminals, so corrupt.

    • Maureen Lane A lie does not become the truth just because it is told over and over again. The Bali bombers were executed !

    • Lee Horrocks So, you are suggesting that they should have been executed right away, not allowing them a due process (bearing in mind that they appealed their sentences).

    • Not all of them were executed, Berndt Oleson, one of them was released from prison some time ago.

    • Berndt you are so wrong! The mastermind walked away after 10 years with a smile and a handshake from the president.

    • Berndt Rudiger Olesen, where did I suggest that any one should have been executed, when every post suggests that I am against the death penalty. Do you ask these questions just for the fun of it? If you do how about you get a life sometime soon.

    • Berndt Rudiger Olesen you are not an Australian these men alive or dead had no effect what so ever on your life

    • concentrate on the New Zealand criminals who are destroying our detention centres and who are paedophile’s and rapists Berndt Rudiger Olesen, they come from your country

    • The last I heard was that they were drug smugglers! They were caught in a country that executes drug smugglers!! They were executed! What is the problem here?

    • Heidrun kneebone, I have also seen your posts on other sites, maybe a friend request to Berndt Rudiger Olesen may be nice. A good match I would say.

    • Why do people let Berndt Olesen get to them. Block the idiot. He’s not an Aussie but he thinks he has some right to tell us how to live. He will argue and verbally abuse women on this site and he getsxaway with it.
      Do as I and many others have done and block the idiot.

  3. I have to agree with Christine here, the ones I do feel sorry for are their families, and the people who people like these two would have ruined, the lives that drugs ruin totally EVERYDAY . It is a one way street to nowhere for sure

    • Don I am not being flippant. They were young, but not foolish. Both knew what they were doing.

    • Had they not been caught and executed they would be back on the streets peddling their illicit substances and causing the death of many foolish drug takers. They would also be reaping millions of dollars tax free.

  4. Well, that’s good.! That’s what people wanted and they are doing it. They didn’t do it back then but they are doing it now. So, we should all be happy about that. Now, they will spend their lives in prison if they smuggle drugs. And that is a long time to be locked up.!

  5. Yes, I feel sorry for the innocent members of their families, but I feel even sorrier for all the families of their drug victims, alive or dead.

  6. I don’t condone what they did by any means, but I believe the whole situation was a case of Indonesia standing over Australia. The publicity, the ridiculous numbers of police everywhere they went, the whole process was not about two stupid young men, it was about the Indonesians “flexing their muscles”. That country is no friend to Australia.

    • Huh they just let Schapelle Corby go! They were standing up for their rights as a country not to be brow beaten over these two!

    • Well said if they’re are not are friends and Australia should remember that we don’t need them but they need us. They are barbaric people

    • Yes they did the wrong thing but it was absolutely proved how they had changed their lives around & were helping others in a positive way. They were genuinely changed men from the arrogant young men who first went to jail and yes had no remorse or cared about the others they talked into being runners.
      Lets not excuse the drug runners either, they all knew right from wrong and made the gamble that got them caught.
      These two men were making real changes to others lives and then BANG they were taken off to be executed for a posturing president to show he was so strong.
      YET perversely they didn’t do the same for the bali bombers and I think they let them go didn’t they? The whole thing was a political UP YOURS and don’t tell us what to do. Now another point just to clarify, I do not in anyway excuse their decision to be drug lords or whatever, BUT every young person who takes drugs makes the decision to do so as well and are just as much to blame for the whole trade.
      Why don’t we start the process for taking responsibility for our actions being drug sellers and drug takers. lets stop blaming only one side as well, if there was no-one looking for drugs then the trade would fizzle out.

    • They broke the law of the land for which the known penalty was death. They did it for their own financial gain, thinking they were to smart to get caught.
      Drug dealers kill more people than Goverments keep the death penalty for deliberste crimes causing death

    • Kay Eller everyone repents and shows remorce AFTER they’re caught thank goodness they’re dead

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