Australia Recalls Ambassador to Indonesia

Indonesia President Joko Widodo is in the doghouse. Leaders all over the world are condemning Indonesia's executions today.

Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbott has recalled their Ambassador to Indonesia. [More...]

"These executions are both cruel and unnecessary," Mr Abbott said. "We respect Indonesia's sovereignty but we do deplore what's been done and this cannot be simply business as usual. For that reason, once all the courtesies have been extended to the Chan and Sukumaran families our ambassador will be withdrawn for consultations."

Foreign aid to Indonesia could get cut when budget time comes around.

"I want to stress that this is a very important relationship between Australia and Indonesia but it has suffered as a result of what's been done over the last few hours," he said.

It is incomprehensible that Widodo would insist on killing two fully rehabilitated inmates who had already served a decade in prison and were role models and inspirations to other prisoners.

Mr Abbott said the two men had already been jailed for 10 years and so had been subject to “double punishment” by being put to death.

“Both of these young Australians were fully rehabilitated while in jail,” Mr Abbott said.

He said his thoughts were with the family of Chan and Sukumaran. “Whatever your thoughts on drug crime, whatever your thoughts on the death penalty these families have suffered an appalling tragedy,” Mr Abbott said.

The opposition party leaders in Australia agree with the Prime Minister.

Here's a scathing op-ed by the international political editor of the Sydney Morning Herald about how Joko is in trouble at home -- he's perceived as weak, even by his own party.

Only a pathetically weak leader would execute the powerless to prove his strength.

The Guardian says Joko is plummeting in the polls.

But despite all the restraint, and all the pleas, nothing would sway Widodo – who is plummeting in the polls, desperate to be seen by his own domestic audience as strong in the face of foreign pressure and himself under pressure from party chairman Megawati Soekarnoputri.

The only people that approve of his action are ill-informed Indonesians. The same ilk that called for the death penalty for Schapelle Corby over 4 kilos of pot. Which is just another reason to boycott the country and Bali in particular.

When Joko denied clemency for Andrew and Myuran, he said it was because of Indonesia's drug use problem. These people were feeding it. He was so ignorant about their case he didn't even know the Bali Nine's drugs were going the other way -- from Indonesia into Australia.

When asked why he had been so hardline when the Bali Nine were taking drugs out of the country, not bringing them in, Mr Joko replied: "Says who that he was taking them out?"

The Bali Nine plot of April, 2005, involved couriers exporting 8.2kg of heroin from Bali to Australia. Sukumaran was caught in a hotel room, while others were at Bali airport.

Mr Joko said: "I did not hand down the death sentence. My obligation is to decide on clemency, and I won't grand clemency to drugs convicts"

Why did they deserve clemency? As PM Abbott said, they were completely rehabilitated. You can read their accomplishments here.

I've been writing about the Bali drug cases and calling for a boycott for 10 years, since 2005. I started the day Schapelle Corby got arrested. I've written about the Bali Nine since 2006. And many of the other outrageous Indonesian drug cases. More than 70 of my posts are accessible here. I'm not giving up.

What rational country lets drug mules rot in prison while giving early release to terrorists that killed its citizens? l

There are beautiful beaches all over the world. Visit the Seychelles, Mauritius, the Maldives or Fiji. Please do not give your tourist dollars to a country that executes non-violent drug offenders, or buy their products.

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  • Display: Sort:
    I sincerely applaud your dedication, Jeralyn (none / 0) (#1)
    by christinep on Tue Apr 28, 2015 at 09:31:42 PM EST
    Thank you for writing so directly about what is still so inconceivable to me ... the obdurate insistence by Indonesia's Widodo to kill for the sake of showing that he can kill. In reading your recent reports, I tended to assume that something would happen for him to pull back and/or relent for some reason ... maybe because it is hard to accept such long-term methodical cruelty. But, it didn't go away (and you knew that it wouldn't.)

    Australia's recall of it's Ambassador is a solid first step.  To the extent that economic consequences could be added, all the better.  While I can guess that many countries would not feel effected enough to join in direct economic responses, I'm guessing that squeezing the $$$$ insofar as Indonesia is concerned could prove effective.  Australia, of course, is no small potato ... what about other nations?  Is there any ongoing incentive for collaborative response here that would hit Indonesia on coordinated economic levels?

    I second Christinep's comment (none / 0) (#2)
    by Green26 on Wed Apr 29, 2015 at 11:41:03 AM EST
    Thanks for bringing all this to our attention and keeping us very informed. Glad you keep pushing for a boycott of Bali. I know I will never go there, although it was once on my bucket list.

    I loved how the group sang together to their death. I loved the self-portait done by one guy, and all of the signatures. While they are no longer with us, they made surprisingly big and loud statements in their last days. I agree that they didn't have to knock on the gates of heaven, because they were already open for them. Makes me sad.