Indonesia is situated to the North of Australia, comprises thousands of Islands and has a population of 250 million people (WDI 2013), making it the 4th most populated country in the world. The most popular religion is Islam with a following of nearly 90% and as most of us now know it is an advocator of the death penalty.
On the 29th of April, eight prisoners were executed by firing squad on the prison Island of Nusa Kambangan. Four Africans, two Australians, a Brazilian and an Indonesian, making it a total of 14 so far in 2015. The deaths of the two Australians, Andrew Chan and Myruan Sukumaran, have caused the most worldwide anger than the others with those opposed to capital punishment..
Sukumaran and Chan were part of the Bali Nine. Nine Australians who were caught and convicted of drug trafficking in 2005. They had tried to smuggle 8.3 kg of heroin from Indonesia to Australia. Seven were given life sentences whilst Chan and Sukumaran were given the death sentence because they were the co-ringleaders of the illegal operation.
In the 10 years that they had been on death row, hopes were always high that they wouldn't be executed and their families said in a statement that they did "all they could to make amends, helping many others." Sukumaran taught many inmates English and Art and Chan was ordained as a priest and married his girlfriend - all this happening whilst on death row. Both were said to be fully rehabilitated after their 10 years spent in prison.
There are many that oppose capital punishment with Amnesty International saying, ''the death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights'' but there are also many in favour.
The President of Indonesia, Joko Widowo, justified the executions as a ''shock therapy'' to help solve Indonesia's current drug crisis. At whatever side of the fence that one stands, the facts are that they are now unfortunately dead. How they would have spent their last days are described by a police officer who has been involved in prior executions, according to The Guardian.
The prisoners and their families were informed of the execution 3 days beforehand and then transferred to the place of death, in this case being the Island of Nusa Kambangan. Here, in the early hours of the morning of the 29th , all eight were shackled and escorted to a clearing in the jungle. They were then tied to poles so that the position of their hearts or bodies couldn't be moved. A circle of 10 cm in diameter was then drawn over their hearts and a blindfold was also offered. At the set time, a flashlight was shone onto the heart and each was shot simultaneously.
The bodies were cleaned and formally identified and then transported to Jakarta, where they were repatriated.
President Widowo said, ''there can be no compromise on the issue of death sentences for drug traffickers.''
At this very moment, there are an estimated 65 convicts on death row who have been convicted of drug violations and 45 of these are foreigners, so whether you are for or against the death penalty be prepared to hear about many more executions taking place in Indonesia, during the rest of this year. #Government #Security #Society