Indonesia must be firm in facing Australia’s threats: Law expert

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Jakarta, Feb 20 – Indonesia must be firm and strong in facing the threats of the Australian government and people regarding the planned execution of two Australian drug convicts in death row, a law expert of Padjadjaran State University (Unpad) said.

“Print and electronic media in Indonesia must also give full support to the Indonesian Government because the same thing has massively been done by mass media in Australia,” Dr.Atip Latipulhayat, Unpads law expert, said here Friday.

Indonesia’s consistent stance on executing convicted criminals in death row, including those found guilty of drug offenses, is legally legitimate because it is explicitly stipulated in the country’s legal system, he said.

Therefore, foreign governments, including Australia, must respect Indonesia’s sovereignty, he said adding that it is, however, the right of Canberra to defend the lives of Myuran Sukumaran (33) and Andrew Chan (31) by requesting for pardon.

“When Indonesia refuses Australia’s request, it is not acceptable if Australia keeps disrespecting Indonesia’s sovereignty,” said Atip Latipulhayat, head of Unpads Department of International Law.

He further argued that those advocating the dismissal of death penalty just look at the rights of the convicts but fail to understand the position of victims who are actually those who suffer the biggest losses from the drug convicts acts of crime.

In response to Indonesia’s firm decision to go ahead with the Bali Nines execution, Canberra has threatened Jakarta, as indicated in Prime Minister Tony Abbotts statement.

Abbott was quoted as saying by ABC that his government “will find ways to make its displeasure known if the executions are carried out.” The Australian prime minister also wanted Indonesia to remember Australia’s generosity when a deadly tsunami hit Aceh in 2004.

“I would say to the Indonesian people and the Indonesian government: We in Australia are always there to help you, and we hope that you might reciprocate,” he was quoted by BBC as recently saying.

Certain elements in the Australian society also echoed calls for boycotting the Indonesian resort island of Bali’s tourism industry if Jakarta went ahead of its plan to execute Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, ringleaders of the Bali Nine.

The two were arrested along with seven other Australians when they were attempting to smuggle 8.3 kilograms of heroin from Bali to Sydney, Australia, in 2005. President Joko Widodo had recently rejected Sukumarans clemency petition.

In response to the Australian threats, Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika urged his people to remain calm over Australias threat to boycott the resort islands tourism industry.

“Please remain calm. It (the execution) will not be a problem, and I believe that it will not badly affect Balis tourism industry. This case is related to our nations sovereignty and dignity,” he said.

Indonesia had recently executed six drug convicts as part of its serious efforts to combat drug trafficking in the country.

The six convicts were Namaona Denis of Malawi, Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira of Brazil, Daniel Enemuo, alias Diarrassouba Mamadou, of Nigeria, Ang Kiem Soei, alias Kim Ho, alias Ance Tahir, of the Netherlands, Rani Andriani, alias Melisa Aprilia, of Indonesia, and Tran Thi Bich Hanh of Vietnam.

Vice-President Jusuf Kalla recently assured that the execution of foreign convicts for drug offenses will not affect Indonesias bilateral ties with their respective countries. (ANTARA)