Death Row

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran — two Australians on death row in Indonesia for drug smuggling — are in headlines all around the country [1]. Andrew and Myuran committed a crime in 2005, and have faced the law for it. But nothing warrants killing a human being. Tell our leaders to start taking real action to save the lives of these two Australians — and all people on death row in Indonesia.

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Andrew and Myuran have reformed in prison in Indonesia and been praised by authorities for their positive contributions. Nothing warrants killing a human being — tell our leaders to take real action to save these two Australians.

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran could be executed at any time if Indonesian President Yudhoyono fails to grant them clemency. Two real people with parents, siblings and communities that will be devastated at their loss.

Since their arrest in 2005, Andrew and Myuran have taken huge strides towards reform. They run computer and art classes for other prisoners in Kerobokan prison. Their contributions are praised by Siswanto, the former Kerobokan prison governor, who has called for clemency for the two in court.

We know they committed a serious offence — they’ve faced the law because of this, and will likely be in prison a long time. But nothing warrants killing a human being. The execution of Andrew and Myuran wouldn’t just be a loss for their families. It would be a tragic failure in the struggle to end this extreme form of human rights abuse.

Luckily, we’re in with a chance to stop this. If Australian leaders show real resolve and place Andrew and Myuran front and centre in discussions with Indonesia, their lives could be saved. Will you tell Julia Gillard and Bob Carr to take real action to save Andrew and Myuran — and all people on death row in Indonesia?

We’re not alone in thinking executions should stop in Indonesia — the country’s President Yudhoyono seems to agree. He granted clemency to four people on death row in 2011 and 2012, and is working to stop the execution of Indonesians in other countries — including Siti Zainab in Saudi Arabia, for whom 15,000 Amnesty supporters in Australia have taken action this year.

If the Indonesian President is willing to spare the lives of some people on death row, the support of Australia — as a key regional partner — in this case can only help Andrew and Myuran.

Australia and Indonesia have a strong history and trade relationship, and signed a “Comprehensive strategic partnership” in 2010. Having sent over 900,000 tourists to Indonesia last year and an expected $540 million in aid in 2012-13, we are an important neighbour. Our government’s views on executing Australians must be heard — and taken seriously by anyone with a stake in Indonesia’s future.

Our leaders have a real opportunity to lead Andrew and Myuran’s appeal for clemency — they just need to see real evidence of Australians calling for action. Ela, help make the difference — call on our Prime Minister and Foreign Minister to do everything they can to save the lives of these two Australians, and other people facing execution.

This won’t necessarily be an easy campaign. We’ll need more than one show of solidarity in the months ahead to get the outcome we want. But we’re committed to Andrew, Myuran and their families, and we’ll keep up the pressure on Australian leaders to do the right thing.

This is what Amnesty supporters have always done — we’ve campaigned against the death penalty for 40 years. One by one, governments around the world are taking notice and abolishing executions. We will keep fighting until the job is done.

Yours in hope,

Michael Hayworth
Crisis Campaigner
Amnesty International Australia

PS. Public debate in the next week will really make a difference to our government’s response in the next few months. If you feel that Australian lives should not be taken in Indonesia, take a minute after you’ve sent your message to share your view on our Facebook page.

This really is the time to take part in the discussion. Our politicians watch public debate closely — when they see that Australians really care about these lives being lost, they will take action.

[1] ‘Bali Nine pair Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran plead for their lives’, news.com.au, Herald Sun, Sunday 5 May 2013

‘Bali Nine pair Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran changed men forever’, AdelaideNow, Saturday 4 May 2013

‘Death row S.O.S. from Bali Nine smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran’, PerthNow, Saturday 4 May 2013

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5 thoughts on “Death Row

  1. Killing of a human being, even if state-sanctioned, is wrong. 😦

  2. Killing another human doesn’t support anyone. We never know how long we will be in our physical bodies. I see we are here to learn, become better, know our true being, be of service to others and ourselves. If we can accomplish this while in these bodies, what a blessing to ourselves and others. I do not know Andrew and Myuran’s full stories although after reading this, appears they are learning, knowing and experiencing their true being and being of service to their fellow brothers. I pray for their safety. The body is the only thing that can be destroyed. Andrew and Myuran’s spirits live forever. Blessings and peace to both of them.

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