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

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Norway's prime minister calls on Indonesia to halt executions of Bali Nine duo

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo greets Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo (right) greets
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg (left).
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg has reportedly asked Indonesia's President Joko Widodo to halt the executions of Australians Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan. 

Ms Solberg visited Jakarta for bilateral talks on Tuesday and afterwards told the Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang that she "asked explicitly not to implement the imminent death sentences".

She said Mr Joko had responded that it was part of Indonesia's legal system and that Indonesia faced a huge drug problem.

"My experience is that they are listening," Ms Solberg said.

"But it is important to mobilise internal support to liquidate the death penalty.

"We as politicians must always point this out to politicians from Indonesia, but I think it's just as important what civil society in Indonesia says."

Sukumaran, 33, and Chan, 31, await execution on a central Java island for their roles in the Bali Nine effort to smuggle heroin out of Indonesia in 2005.

The Norwegian newspaper on Tuesday splashed a story about Sukumaran, who worked with Norwegian academics and students to initiate rehabilitation programs in Kerobokan prison, where he spent most of the past decade.

Student Espen Nordstrom has met Sukumaran around 20 times and told the newspaper the Australian regretted the choices he had made when he was younger.

"He always seemed incredibly quiet and had a big smile," he said.

Sukumaran turns 34 on Friday, an occasion that is being marked in London with an exhibition of his paintings, held with the support of Amnesty International.

The Australian pair and 8 other drug offenders are next in line for the firing squad, but Jakarta has not set a date.

Norway is firmly against capital punishment. It has strong ties with Indonesia in various areas, including conservation, climate change and energy.

Source: news.com.au, April 15, 2015

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