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Today it was announced ten coffins have arrived on Nusakambangan island, Indonesia's island of death.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has refused to budge on the imminent executions of drug offenders, which by all accounts will proceed as soon as possible. He has tuned out requests by leaders of Brazil, Nigeria, France, the Philippines, and especially Australia.
What is fueling his stubborn resistance? He says other countries need to butt out and let Indonesia enforce its laws. He says this is about legal sovereignty and Indonesia's dignity. Shorter version: the politics of pride and nationalism. [More...]
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The social media campaign to boycott Bali as a result of its execution of non-violent drug traffickers is picking up steam. Ticket sales are down.
Within days, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan of the Bali Nine and 9 other drug traffickers will be flown to Nusakambangan Island, put in isolation cells, and within three days, taken to one of the island's two killing fields, tied to a wooden cross and shot.
Military jets, including a squadron of Sukhoi and a Hercules CN-295 military transport airbus, and hundreds of soldiers will be deployed to transfer Andrew and Myuran. [More...]
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Indonesia President Joko Wikodo says there will be no delay in the executions of Bali Nine members Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan. Hopes were raised earlier this week when their transfer to the Nusakambangan island prison was delayed.
Boycott Bali. There are beautiful beaches all over the world. Visit the Seychelles, Mauritius, the Maldives or any other country that does not execute non-violent drug offenders. [More...]
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Indonesia has approved the transfer of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, the Bali Nine duo scheduled for execution this month, to Nusakambangan, a prison island off central Java, where they will be taken to Batu Prison, known as “Indonesia’s Alcatraz” and then, within days, to a killing field, tied to a wooden cross and killed by a firing squad of police from Indonesia's BRIMOB. They will be shot through the heart (and if they don't die quickly, shot again behind the ear.)[More...]
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For all the noise about challenging Hillary Clinton as a "corporatist Wall Street lover" (no, I don't agree with that assessment, but we can have that discussion another time), in the context of the 2016 Dem nomination process, I am hoping for more "noise" challenging Clinton on her foreign policy views. I wrote about this last August in a piece I titled Obama is right, Clinton wrong, on foreign policy. The crux of my thesis:
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Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, the two members of the Bali 9 facing the death penalty, were officially notified Thursday they are scheduled for execution this month. They will be taken from Kerobokan prison in Bali, flown to Jogjakarta, and after a 5 hour drive, arrive at the central prison on Nusa Kambangan Island near Central Java. From there, they and 8 to 10 other drug traffickers from Brazil, France, Ghana, Nigeria and the Philippines, will be driven to a shooting field in the dead of night, tied to wooden crosses and executed by firing squad.
A Catholic priest present at the 2008 execution of three Nigerian drug traffickers described the agonizing deaths.[More...]
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Another scandal at Kerobokan prison in Bali. Julian Ponder, serving 6 years for possession, while his partner and the mother of his child got one year and is back in Britain, fell in love with the British diplomat assigned to console and meet with Lindsay Sandiford, the grandmotherly woman sentenced to death. She tried to say Julian and Rachel were the ringleaders, but her proof fell way short and the Indonesians didn't believe her. They thought she took them on a wild goose chase. When she didn't deliver, she got a death sentence. [More....]
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Bali 9 inmates Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are closer to execution. They could be killed within weeks. Andrew Chan's appeal for clemency was denied last week. (Background here.) A police commander says he has received messages the two are on a list for February.
Indonesia President President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and the country's Attorney General say no more appeals are allowed by law. Their lawyers disagree, and have filed a new appeal in the Densepar District Court. Today, according to their lawyers, the court accepted the new appeal for filing.
Police at Indonesia's two killing fields, the Nirbaya and Li- musbuntu on the island of Nusakambanga, are ready and waiting for them, as well as 6 other convicted drug offenders whose killings are scheduled next. They include [More...]
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Police in Bali paraded Australian Nicholas James Langan, 25, before the media this week. His offense: he and an Indonesian acquaintance were caught sharing a joint on the beach. Police also showcased the joint, which contained less than one gram of pot. They also found a "roach" that weighed 1/10 of one gram. The combined weight was under one gram.
The penalty for drug possession (as opposed to trafficking for which the death penalty is authorized) is 4 to 12 years in prison. Using drugs carries an additional 5 year penalty. Police will ask prosecutors to charge them with both offenses. [More...]
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From the State Department on the International Court announcement it will open open an inquiry into possible war crimes in the Palestinian territories, beginning with actions of Israel and Hamas militants last summer.
We strongly disagree with the ICC Prosecutor's action today. As we have said repeatedly, we do not believe that Palestine is a state and therefore we do not believe that it is eligible to join the ICC. It is a tragic irony that Israel, which has withstood thousands of terrorist rockets fired at its civilians and its neighborhoods, is now being scrutinized by the ICC. The place to resolve the differences between the parties is through direct negotiations, not unilateral actions by either side. We will continue to oppose actions against Israel at the ICC as counterproductive to the cause of peace.
This allows the court to delve into the war between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza in July-August 2014.
Please keep your comments civil. Opinions on both sides are fine, so long as they are expressed without venomous attacks on Israelis or the Palestinians, and without ridicule of other commenters who don't share your view.
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I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it. - Voltaire
Maybe I'm simple, but to me the issue is really simple - je suis Voltaire - I'm not agreeing with what you say, I'm defending your right to say it without getting killed.
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Indonesia has a new president, Joko Widodo. In December, he pledged to get tough on the drug traffickers sentenced to death, including the foreign prisoners who have languished for years in Bali's hellhole Kerobokan prison.
The inmates will be taken to the prison at Nusa Kambangan, an island off the coast of Java, where they will be executed by a 10-person firing squad from the Central Java Police’s Mobile Brigade Unit (Brimob). Basically, they are tied to a wooden cross and shot.
Last week he rejected clemency for Bali 9 inmate Myuran Sukumaran, convicted in 2005 of attempting to smuggle 8.3 kilograms of heroin from Bali to Australia. Myuran gives his reaction to the news here. [More...]
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An AirAsia Flight from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore has gone missing.
"The aircraft was on the submitted flight plan route and was requesting deviation due to enroute weather before communication with the aircraft was lost while it was still under the control of the Indonesian air traffic control," the airline said in a statement.
No distress signal was sent. It was somewhere between the port of Tanjung Pandan in Indonesia and West Kalimantan on Borneo island, when contact was lost.
Here is the airline's full statement.
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After 50 years, the U.S. has restored ties with Cuba.
After 18 months of secret talks, Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro agreed in a phone call on Tuesday on a breakthrough prisoner exchange, the opening of embassies in each other's countries, and an easing of some restrictions on commerce.
The two leaders made the announcement in simultaneous televised speeches. The Vatican and Canada facilitated the deal.
Obama is also calling for an end to the embargo. Republicans aren't happy with that and Congressional approval is necessary to lift it. There was also a prisoner exchange: [More...]
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Turkey conducted mass raids of journalists and a media organizations today. The targets of the raids were those who support Fethullah Gulea, a U.S. cleric and opponent of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. More from The Guardian here.
Among the 31 people arrested: Ekrem Dumanli, the editor-in-chief of the Zaman daily newspaper. The paper is known for its exposure of government corruption.
Those held include an executive of Samanyolu television, also seen as close to Gulen, as well as a TV director, producers, scriptwriters and some police officers. Arrest warrants were issued for a total of 31 people, the official Anatolia news agency reported.
Among the offenses charged: "Using intimidation and threats" to "form a gang to try and seize state sovereignty", "forgery" and "slander."
I was watching this develop on the newspaper's Twitter feed last night. The raids were expected and 2,000 people gathered outside the Zaman's headquarters in support of the media and particularly the editor. Check out this short video. [More...]
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