The parents of convicted Bali nine drug mule Scott Rush say Australia needs to reinforce its stance against capital punishment to avoid international confusion.
The 21-year-old from Queensland was arrested at Bali airport in 2005 with heroin strapped to his legs and was later sentenced to death.
A political row has emerged in Canberra with Labor Leader Kevin Rudd criticising his foreign affairs spokesman Robert McClelland for re-stating Labor’s opposition to the death penalty on the eve of the 2002 Bali bombings anniversary.
Rush’s mother Christine says she is concerned politicians are sending mixed messages and should take a lead role in abolishing capital punishment globally.
“When we’re doing our campaigning we have people say to us that Australia is against the death penalty,” she said.
“Obviously that’s not the case, because we do have six Australians on death row because of what has happened with our Australian authorities, so it’s very difficult to comprehend.”
Christine Rush makes a very good point there.
What happened with the Australian nine in Bali needs some context;
Chris Ellison issued written directions to the AFP in August 2004 “to be active in pursuing opportunities for cooperation and strategic alliances with international partners in law enforcement”. An AFP Death Penalty Charge Guide explicitly instructed the police to “provide such assistance as requested” by overseas agencies,
“irrespective of whether the investigation may later result in charges being laid which may attract the death penalty”.
The AFP also exploited the 1999 Mutual Assistance Treaty between Australia and Indonesia and thus were able to send assistance to the Indonesian police and prosecutors for 6 months after the arrest of the Australian nine.
Australia signed an agreement in 1990 to undertake an international commitment to abolish the death penalty. Today Australia’s stance on the death penalty apparently depends on what date it is.
And as terrible as the Bali bombers crimes were, by murdering them you allow their martyrdom to succeed. Your giving them a JI heroes send off. More will follow as death is part of the their creed. And If you are reading this and you agree with capital punishment then please note the kill ratio here. 88 versus 3. Meaning the extremists win both ways.
A quote from a friend of mine;
“Generally, those that murder and maim should not get a quick death nor martyrdom and the last thing we should be doing is making cult heroes of these people. Let them stay in prison and live so that they may dissuade others from following them into senility and a very unremarkable end.”