Bali 9 Duo To Be Executed This Month

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...]

The 65-year-old Dublin-born priest chokes with tears when recalling the night of the execution, saying it is cruel and inhumane and telling of the awful noises coming from the men for seven minutes after the fatal shots were fired.

According to Indonesia's Attorney General, the only thing delaying their immediate execution is the wait for one or more additional inmates to have their clemency appeals denied so they can be added to the February group. (Anyone remember the "Room 22" episode of the Twilight Zone, and the infamous line by the nurse at the morgue, "Room for One More, Honey")?

Andrew and Myuran's final court challenge was denied earlier this week. The President of Indonesia refuses to consider pleas from Australia and other countries, human rights groups, judges and others, and continues to attempt to justify killing drug traffickers by relying on dubious statistics.

Andrew and Myuran have done incredible rehabilitative work for others in prison. This week numerous inmates wrote letters asking they not be killed.

The pair have initiated various classes that have helped people stay off drugs, focusing their minds on productive activities and building skills for life after prison.

Their fellow prisoners say they can’t imagine life in jail without the outreach of Chan, who is studying to become a pastor, and worry about what will become of Sukumaran’s art school.

One inmate, Rico Richardo, offered to take Andrew's place and be executed in his stead. When he was seriously ill, Andrew paid for his surgery.

"If Your Honour Bapak President still insists on executing Andrew Chan, I, Rico Richardo as an Indonesian citizen, am ready to replace Andrew Chan to be executed."

Andrew and Myuran continue to do good work in jail, even after being notified of the decision this week. Myuran is busy trying to finish and sell another painting, so that he can give the money to a female inmate who suffered pregnancy complications while at Kerobokan, lost her baby and now needs surgery to remove a tumor the size of a four month fetus in her stomach.

Two paintings sold this week. The buyers, long term Bali residents from Australia, said:

“The Indonesian prison system has done a remarkable job rehabilitating these boys. They are not serial killers with no remorse whatsoever ... their remorse is proven by their actions. They have tried to do this the best for themselves and others after making a huge mistake in their younger years,” Mr Kotzamichalis said.

“We as humans are surely not that barbaric. Leave them there to help others for as long as is required.

Indonesia doesn't hesitate to ask other countries not to execute its citizens. Last year it paid 1.8 million in "blood money" to a victim's family in Saudi Arabia to spare a condemned Indonesian killer. What hypocrisy.

When ISIS cuts off the hand of a thief for stealing, or beheads a spy, or stones a woman for adultery, all of which are crimes and prescribed punishments under the Sharia law it follows, the whole world recoils in horror. When Indonesian armed forces tie a group of non-violent criminal offenders to a wooden cross, shoot them, and watch them writhe on the ground until they're dead, the world just nods and moves on to the next story.

There are beautiful beaches all over the world. Please do not give your tourist dollars to a country with killing fields used to execute drug offenders. Boycott Bali and Indonesia.

On a related note, "The Bachelor" episode airing Feb. 16, a week from Monday, was filmed in Bali. Bali will likely rake in millions from it. Ratings for the Bachelor are higher than ever this season. Last week, 8.4 million watched, and it drew the largest numbers in the coveted "Adults 18-49" range for each of its four half hours. Since the show will trend on Twitter for hours Monday night (especially since it's the "Fantasy Suite" episode with overnight dates), I hope someone starts a competing Twitter hashtag of "#Boycott Bali" or "#Death in Bali" while it's airing, and gets it trending at the same time. Indonesia's tourism officials (and hotel associations and others in the island's travel industry) will undoubtedly check Twitter to see how well the Bachelor did for the island -- they won't feel very good if they see calls for a boycott trending right alongside the Bachelor hashtag.

Bali and Indonesia have considered the impact of the executions on tourism. They say they're confident it won't make a difference.

Bali’s provincial government has previously stated that the island hopes to welcome four million foreign visitors in 2015, with a huge chunk of those expected to be Australians, so of course they have considered the executions’ impact on the island’s money-making industry.

“We do not need to worry about tourism arrivals going down in Bali. The amount of tourists visiting from Australia will remain high,” said coordinating maritime minister Indroyono Susilo in Jogja today,

The Governor of Bali apparently wasn't as confident and asked the executions be held elsewhere, saying they would disrupt Bali's "tranquility." As Bali is also home to Kerobokan prison, which with its 1,000 inmates in a building designed for 300, is hardly a "tranquil place", I doubt that's the real reason. A short description:

It is a dark, bizarre and truly frightening underworld of sex, drugs, violence and squalor....In Hotel Kerobokan’s filthy, cramped and disease-ridden cells a ‘United Nations of prisoners’ – Australians, Americans, Germans, Brazilian, French, English, Scottish, Mexicans, Italians – live crushed together in misery.

“Petty thieves and small-time drug users share cells with killers, rapists and gangsters. Hardened drug traffickers sleep alongside unlucky tourists, who’ve seen their holiday turn from paradise to hell over an ecstasy tablet.”

Consider the prison riot in 2012:

The riot broke out about 11pm on Tuesday, with prisoners trashing cells and throwing stones at the guards who were forced to retreat to the street outside the overcrowded jail which houses more than 1000 male and female inmates.

Some prisoners were then able to gain access to the registration wing of the jail, within metres of the entrance to the facility, where they set offices and furniture alight.

After two days, police stormed the prison and took back control.

If you'd like to send an email to the official Bali Tourism board to let them know you won't be visiting until Indonesia stops executing drug traffickers, you can write them here.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Great Idea! (none / 0) (#1)
    by lentinel on Sat Feb 07, 2015 at 05:47:13 AM EST
    I hope someone starts a competing Twitter hashtag of "#Boycott Bali" or "#Death in Bali" while ("The Bachelor") is airing, and gets it trending at the same time. Indonesia tourism will undoubtedly check Twitter to see how well the Bachelor did for it -- Ithey won't feel very good if they see calls for a boycott trending right alongside the Bachelor hashtag.

    I hope it takes off.

    Withholding money might well have an effect where calls for compassion go unheeded.

    I don't watch the program, but I believe it is on ABC.
    Emails and Tweets to ABC making them aware of the regime they are supporting with their funds might help as well.

    Email sent (none / 0) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 07, 2015 at 09:36:55 AM EST