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

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Bali Nine executions 'must be more civilised'

Indonesian police blocking access to Nusakambangan prison island, where Indonesia carries out its executions.
Indonesian police in Cilacap, in Java, blocking access to
Nusakambangan prison island, where Indonesia carries out its executions.
Indonesia's president has warned it "is only a matter of time" until Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are executed.

Jakarta has postponed the executions of the two Australians and eight other drug offenders for this week, while it hosts foreign dignitaries for the Asian African Conference.

But the stay is only temporary, with President Joko Widodo telling Indonesian wire service Antara the executions are "only a matter of time".

Philippines Vice President Jejomar Binay is expected to raise the issue in Jakarta meetings this week as concern grows over the fate of condemned domestic worker Mary Jane Veloso.

Former Indonesian foreign minister Hassan Wirajuda says a more "civilised" approach could help avoid diplomatic strife in future.

He said he isn't troubled by Indonesia's use of the death penalty, but more by the language officials are using when explaining it.

Mr Wirajuda says the foreign protests are legitimate, but Indonesia must project a better image of its death penalty regime.

"We already gave the maximum legal avenues to find the most fair legal verdict," he said on Tuesday.

"But when the (death) sentence is final, the way we do it, maybe we can be more civilised.

"We shouldn't showcase the executions ... Why must we describe in detail the process of the execution? That's not necessary ... China is also doing this without showcasing it like they're enjoying the executions.

"That's what I mean when I say that we need to do it in more civilised manner."

Chan and Sukumaran are among the prisoners still pursuing legal challenges.

The Bali Nine pair, who remain in an isolated cell on Nusakambangan Island, have a case lodged with the Constitutional Court that challenges the clemency process, but it's yet to be registered.

Indonesian Zainal Abidin, Ghanian Martin Anderson and Frenchman Serge Atlaoui have applied for Supreme Court judicial reviews.

Veloso and Nigerian Raheem Salami plan to follow, while a relative for Brazilian Rodrigo Gularte, who suffers schizophrenia, is pursuing guardianship before other legal moves.

In the interview with Antara, Mr Joko said he wouldn't interfere with the outstanding legal appeals of the group awaiting the firing squad, but confirmed the executions will take place on their conclusion.

Meanwhile, the high court in the West Java city of Bandung has commuted the death sentences of two Iranian drug offenders.

The pair was sentenced to death in January after they were caught in February 2014 trying to pick up a delivery of 40 kilos of methamphetamine.

A National Narcotics Agency spokesman said he regrets the new sentences at a time when the government is taking a tough stance by executing death row drug offenders.

But the judges disagreed, reportedly saying in their decision that sentencing is "not about revenge but more a form of education".

Source: AAP 2015, April 21, 2015

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