Charles Santiago

Posted by Tanpa Nama | Posted on 11:49 PTG

Charles Santiago

PRESS STATEMENT: Executing Drug Mules Not the Solution for Jokowi’s Waning Popularity or Fighting Drug Menance.

Posted: 29 Apr 2015 03:37 AM PDT


Death Penalty by IndonesiaPRESS STATEMENT: Executing Drug Mules Not the Solution for Jokowi's Waning Popularity or Fighting Drug Menance.

It’s barbaric. There is no other word to describe Indonesia’s execution of eight drug mules early this morning.

Newly-minted Ind

onesian presid

ent, Joko Widodo, casually dismissed pleas for clemency and believes drugs will wreck havoc in his country.

I agree

 that lives, espe

cially those of teenagers influenced by peers, ha

ve been ruined.

But the death penalty is not a solution. It never h

as been. And it never will be.
There has to be a moratorium on the death penalty, with the aim of abolishing the capital punishment. And this goes to Malaysia as well.

In executing the eight death row inmates from Australia, Brazil, Nigeria and Indonesia, Jokowi has completely disregarded allegations of bribery against some of the judges and even witnesses.

Australia had appealed to stay the executions until proceedings underway in the country’s Constitutional Court and Judicial Commission have been completed.

A preliminary hearing of the Constitutional Court has been scheduled for mid-May, and is relevant to the cases of the two Australians.

Now that the executions have been carried out, what could Jokowi do
if findings in either of these proceedings turn out to be in favor of the Australians?

When he ran for the presidenc

y, Indonesians looked up to Jokowi as a progressive, moderate candidate.

Months later, he fell from grace. And I can only hope that the adamant refusal for clemency for the eight prisoners were not aimed at shoring up his dwindling support. Or to make him look decisive.

The executions by a firing squad are outrageous. And if they were motivated by Jokowi’s political survival then it’s shameless.

Jokowi’s popularity took a whack following the appointment of a man involved in an active graft case as police chief and the removal of fuel subsidies.

When almost three quarter of Indonesians registered their dissatisfaction with Jokowi, the president started focusing on nationalist issues to crank up his support.

This includes a huge crackdown on illegal fishing by foreigners and drug mules.
We can now only hope that Jokowi will do the right thing by releasing Mary Jane Veloso, who escaped the execution when the person who tricked her into becoming a drug mule surrendered to the police.

Mary Jane did not know th

at the bag she was asked to use to carry her belongings already had drugs stitched into the inner lining.

She is a victim of trafficking and should be released.

I once again reiterate that I understand Indonesia’s battle with drugs.

But Jokowi needs to look at new strategies – establish ASEAN wide operations to break- up drug cartels, trafficking and regional networks, including eliminating corruption in the police force to address the issue.

The firing squad is not an answer.

Charles Santiago
Member of Parliament, Klang,
Democratic Action Party.

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