In the Age, academic Tim Lindsey braces himself for yet more Australian bloodlust:
The announcement by Jakarta of the imminent execution of Bali bombers Amrozi, Imam Samudra and Mukhlas poses a dilemma that will require careful handling by Canberra.
Given the Australian public’s record in the past few years, the likely popular response to the firing squad for these unapologetic terrorists will be another round of gloating and bloodthirsty celebration.
Excuse me … another round? When was the last time we enjoyed a “bloodthirsty celebration”? Is the volatile Australian street once again set to erupt? Will our troubled region never know peace?
Canberra needs to point out, quietly, but strongly and consistently, that although Indonesia may have a right to execute the bombers, Australia, in principle, opposes the death penalty and would always recommend imprisonment in its place, regardless of the crime involved.
Imperialist! Imperialist! How dare Lindsey impose his values on our northern neighbour.
Canberra needs to make this policy clear to Australians as well as Indonesians and it needs to do it fast, to overcome the damage already done.
What “damage” is this clown talking about? Then again, that idea for a bloodthirsty celebration is excellent. Let’s begin planning.
UPDATE. Speaking of the death penalty, a new documentary examines the case of 16-year-old Iranian girl Atefah Sahaaleh, hanged two years ago for “crimes against chastity”:
Previously arrested for attending a party and being alone in a car with a boy, Atefah received her first sentence for “crimes against chastity” when she was just 13.
Although the exact nature of the crime is unknown, she spent a short time in prison and received 100 lashes …
Circumstances surrounding Atefah’s fourth and final arrest were unusual.
When Atefah realised her case was hopeless, she shouted back at the judge and threw off her veil in protest.
It was a fatal outburst.
Judge Haji Rezai took Atefah’s documents to the Supreme Court himself.
And at six o’clock on the morning of her execution he put the noose around her neck, before she was hoisted on a crane to her death.
Just don’t go calling them evil. That would be simplistic.
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