Bali Nine executions: no-one benefits



See Bali Nine: Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran executed by Indonesian firing squad. Of all the commentary I have seen so far I particularly commend Graham Long, pastor and CEO of the Wayside Chapel in Sydney.

…The Indonesians have demonstrated a culture that has careful regard for the rule of law. They did prove the guilt, beyond doubt of Andrew and Myuran. Now they are enforcing the law.

The public mood for “strong leadership” in any culture should cause us concern. In an atmosphere of fear or in a history where resentment has been allowed to fester, the public may be in a mood to “make someone pay”, little realising that it is all of us who pay, when leaders exercise such power over easy targets. We all pay when the value of humanity is cheapened to the extent that a politician should exercise the power of life and death. No one is better off for the death of Ronald Ryan. No one will benefit from the death of Andrew Chan or Myuran Sukumaran. All of us are depleted.

We ought not be judgmental about Indonesia. We should know that if a popular vote was called for paedophiles in this country to receive the the death penalty, then it would be accepted in a heartbeat by the general public here, who like the public of Indonesia, “want someone to pay”. We ought not boycott holidays in Bali unless we are likewise prepared to boycott travel to the US where few governors choose compassion when a poor person’s time on death row comes to an end.

Perhaps we should declare a season of sadness. Perhaps it will give us time to discover the truth that when one of us is depleted, we’re all depleted. Perhaps our season of sadness will reveal that when life is taken too soon for any one of us, all of us die a little.

In 2014 this was the case:


To which one might add the extra-state blood lust exhibited by the so-called Islamic State and its clones elsewhere. (Did you see Four Corners this week? Horrific!)

In the following map taken from Wikipedia the states still committed to the barbarism of capital punishment are in red.


Go to Amnesty International.