"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." - Oscar Wilde

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Do the Right Thing and Show Mercy, President Jokowi

A day that no rational, compassionate human being could ever wish for appears to be at hand: the day that 10 fellow human beings, nine of them foreign nationals, are gunned down in a hail of bullets because the Indonesian government wants to make a barbarous point.

The Attorney General’s Office, which seems to be taking an awful lot of pleasure in organizing the executions, has summoned officials from foreign embassies to the prison island of Nusakambangan on Saturday. The AGO is required to give the inmates 72 hours’ notice about their execution, so it appears that the killings — yes, killings; make no mistake, this is state-sanctioned murder — could take place as soon as Tuesday.

But the AGO has said it will carry out the executions once all the inmates’ appeals have been exhausted. And one of the 10, Indonesian Zainal Abidin, still has an appeal to be heard on Monday.

If, as appears likely, Zainal avoids the firing squad at the last minute, the government will have confirmed what everyone already suspects: that the executions are a stunt — bloody and grotesque — to impress upon the rest of the world the Indonesian government’s disturbingly nationalist bent.

Why persist with a practice as savage as the death penalty when much of the world cries out against it? What can Indonesia gain from this?

It is in the president’s power to end this shameful travesty and grant these individuals clemency. So it is to President Joko Widodo that we beseech mercy for Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso; for Serge Areski Atlaoui; for Myuran Sukumaran; for Andrew Chan; for Rodrigo Gularte; for Raheem Agbaje Salami; for Martin Anderson; for Sylvester Obiekwe Nwolise; for Okwudili Oyatanze; and for Zainal Abidin.

We stand for mercy, Mr. President. Will you stand with us?

Source: Jakarta Globe, Editorial, April 24, 2015

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