The Media Gets On Board: Indonesia Executions

The headline of an article in Australia's The Independent today reads:

Welcome to 'Execution Island' – the Indonesian holiday resort where foreigners are sent to die

I can't remember another case when the media around the world, in news articles, not just commentary, used such strong words in reporting on an upcoming execution, as it has with Bali Nine duo Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. [More...]

I've been calling for a boycott of Bali for 10 years, since 2005 when Schapelle Corby was arrested for four kilos of marijuana found in her boogie board case at the Bali airport. Immediately, Indonesians took to the streets, calling for her to be killed. Since then, I've written more than 60 posts about her case.

When she was tried, I live-blogged the two hour reading of it. She was sentenced to 20 years at Kerobokan, Bali's hellhole of a prison, with horrific prison conditons More here.

Prosecutors launched an appeal seeking a life sentence. Her sentence was gradually reduced and after 10 years, was was paroled in Indonesia (she's not allowed to leave for a few more years.) The Bali 9 were arrested shortly thereafter, and I wrote about their case as well, first mentioning them here, and describing the barbaric firing squad procedure here in 2006. I also have covered several other Bali drug cases throughout the last decade.

While I've also complained about the death penalty in Tripoli, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia, I've focused on Bali and Indonesia because of the number of foreign tourists that travel there, lured by the photos of beautiful beaches. Vietnam, at least, commuted the sentence of an Australian to life when requested to do so.

When Hillary Clinton traveled to Indonesia as Secretary of State, I suggested she visit Schapelle. When Paris Hilton visited Bali, I tweeted her asking her to visit Schapelle. But one blogger's posts will never match the power of mainstream media. This is the first time the media has taken up the call against Indonesia's draconian sentences and execution of drug offenders, using such vivid language. What a welcome addition.

Bali is not paradise. It's hell on earth for drug offenders. Indonesia is not a civilized nation. It kills non-violent drug offenders, including mules. It has no law preventing the execution of the mentally ill. It rejects diplomatic appeals from nations whose citizens are about to be killed. While killing drug offenders, it grants clemency to and frees terrorists who have killed many citizens of other countries. While killing the citizens of other countries, it launches appeals to other countries and pays blood money to spare the lives of Indonesians on death row.

If you think that you will be safe on Bali because you aren't bringing drugs into the country or out of the country, consider the plight of the 14 year old Australian boy who flew with his parents to Bali on vacation and was locked up for weeks. Or the current case of Australian Nicholas Langan, who was caught smoking a joint on a beach. Why take a chance you will end up like this?

Last month, Indonesia executed six drug offenders. This time it will be 10. All but a few are foreigners. Indonesia summarily dismissed the world wide condemnation of its actions. A priest describes the horrible event here.

A country that sentences teens with no prior record to life in prison and young adults to death is a country with an inhumane system of justice that does not deserve to have tourists -- or their dollars.

There are beautiful beaches all over the world. Please visit the Seychelles, Mauritius, Fiji, or the Maldives instead. Please do not buy products made in Indonesia or fly on Indonesian airlines, particularly Wings Air or its parent Lion Air, which allowed Indonesia to charter its plane to transport Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran to the Death Island.

My latest posts about the Bali Nine and the upcoming executions are here.

Indonesia has rejected Australia's latest offer of a prisoner swap. The Daily Mail has the latest with some excellent photos here.

There are unconfirmed reports that the executions have been set back for about 10 days.

The media is not calling for a boycott, but many others are, and it's having an effect.

< "Happy Snap" Taken by Indo Cop on Death Plane | Thursday Open Thread >
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