It’s neither helpful nor honest for the government and individuals to maintain the disclaimer that we respect Indonesia’s laws and sovereignty when discussing capital punishment.
Let’s stop being mealy mouthed. We are not diplomats weighing fall-out or politicians calculating where the fleeting public interest lies. The death penalty is abhorrent, immoral, unequivocally unacceptable and we should say so whatever the consequences.
Did we respect South Africa’s sovereignty when it practised racial segregation? Do we respect Saudi laws on lashing dissidents and beheading maids? Do we respect Egypt’s jailing of journalists? And if ISIS sets up a state will we acknowledge its sovereignty?
Did William Wilberforce ‘respect’ the slave trade nations while preaching abolition?
This is not an argument about drugs or crime, but universal human rights that transcend borders, politics and the trade issues of the moment.
Can we please get back to that great Australian quality of addressing a spade by its proper name. Capital punishment is judicial murder, and we should lead the way in condemning its use everywhere and support those progressive Indonesians working towards abolition.