Thoughts on Bali 9 Killings

Yesterday Indonesia murdered two Australian citizens convicted of drug smuggling.

The two Australians have been in prison for over 10 years and by all accounts were completely rehabilitated. The killings are unjust and show complete arrogance on behalf of the Indonesian government to the social norms regarding crime and punishment.

Almost ten years ago I blogged on how inhumane the Indonesian execution process is and over the last four months we have seen it in all its torturous glory. The process over the past few months has been even more horrible than first described.

The Indonesians have ignored all international pressure to stop the executions, this is their sovereign right to do so. However, they have also made deliberate choices to offend the Australian and international community. The President and the government have deployed army commandos and fighter jets to transport the prisoners, they have deployed naval frigates to patrol the small island on which the executions took place, and police chiefs have taken smiling photos with the masked condemned men.The worst of this was the announcement of the date of executions on ANZAC day.

In response to the killings Australia has withdrawn its ambassador to Indonesia. While this is a very strong action in political terms in real action it seems like so little. The damage left behind by the Indonesian government is more than two dead bodies, there are geopolitical wounds that will take a long time to heal.