This blog post http://jacqueliehanafie.wordpress.com/
and pasted below resonated with me – what do you think?
I have read hundreds of articles pertaining to the Bali bombers, but this one stood out to me. It was taken from the Herald Sun on 7 November, a day before the executions. It represents my views completely. Well done, Julian McMahon.
Silence from our leaders is not good enough
Where are our leaders? What is happening? In the next day or two, three men are going to be executed by our nearest neighbor, Indonesia. The men deserve severe punishment. But why are Australian leaders, Federal, State, religious and community, being so quiet? Not one voice is speaking up, saying the men should not be executed. It is too late to speak up after the executions. We are not weak. We are not aggressive. We are friends with Indonesia. We have principles and ideals and should speak up. If principles are worth anything, lets defend them even though its hard. Our leaders are not at liberty to stay silent and pretend that these executions are ok. With other Australian lawyers, I have clients in Asia on death row. We know that the Asian media and politicians demand consistency from us. If we ignore these executions which obviously affect us as a nation, while later demanding the right to save Australians, we lose legitimacy. I have read every name at the Bali memorial. I feel deeply for those victims. Every time I go to the prison in Bali, and I was there last week, I think of my family and hope they don’t suffer such losses. But killing 3 more people to avenge those already killed does not honour those names carved in granite. It adds nothing. To dignify their names, we should call for humane but severe punishment – a life in prison, without access to journalists, removed from society. That is always enough punishment. I walked away from Van Nguyen’s execution knowing that it was an exercise in futility – that dreadful sense of a person being destroyed, the destruction planned for, practiced over and over, pointless. To see his mother, his brother, their friends at the minute of their loved one hanging is to realize that pre planned killing is fundamentally backward. Making people suffer is not what we as a nation are about, even if they deserve it. The suffering of victims does not go away, no one is brought back. We just have another corpse. Resorting to premeditated ritualized killing, and pretending vengeance or disgust or hatred or contempt is justice, is in truth failure. Our leaders, State and Federal, and religious, oppose the death penalty. Well, let them say so when its hard, like this Bali bombers case. The region is watching. At law, our country has signed up to international covenants and protocols opposing the death penalty and calling for its abolition everywhere. Last December at the United Nations, Australia strongly opposed the death penalty calling for an international moratorium. Last week on Melbourne radio the Prime Minister confirmed his personal and party’s long standing universal opposition to the death penalty. If an Australian was about to be executed in Asia, these policy positions would be proudly proclaimed, and relied upon as a strategy to save his or her life. We do not expect our political and community leaders to jump up and down at every execution everywhere. But the execution of the Bali bombers, like many other executions including of Australians, calls for more than silence. As neighbours and victims and people affected, we have rights and duties. As investigators who helped catch the criminals, we have a say. It will be too late to speak out once the prisoners are shot.