The Catholic Justice & Peace Commission of Brisbane
Invites you to
A PRAYER VIGIL
For all those on death row in Indonesia and around the world
GOOD FRIDAY (2 April 2010) at 12 Noon
Christ the King Catholic Church
Churchill Street, Graceville
This is an opportunity to pray for all those waiting on death row around the world, for their families and friends and for the victims of violence and crime.
This vigil is being held in the home parish of Lee & Chris Rush whose son, Scott, is waiting on death row in Indonesia. Lee and Chris will be present unless Scott’s final appeal is being heard.
All are welcome.
More details here.
I sent this letter today to Stephen Smith
The Hon Mr Stephen Smith 6 April 2010
Australian Foreign Minister
Dear Mr Smith,
I write to request that you again exert pressure on the Indonesian Government to show clemency to the “Bali Nine” young Australians on death row and to Schapelle Corby.
I am really saddened by the terrible circumstances in which these Australians have found themselves as a result of their stupidity and recklessness as immature young people. They made very bad decisions and are now paying an unbearably high price. As a mother of young adults, I can imagine how devastated I would feel if either of my children had engaged in drug smuggling and faced the penalty of lengthy imprisonment in a Third World prison (Schapelle Corby) or the death penalty ( Bali Nine). The penalties imposed are manifestly excessive. I am not an apologist for drug importation but I do believe that in the case of the Bali Nine who were sentenced to death the offences do not warrant this penalty. Similarly, Schapelle Corby should not spend 20 years in prison for her crime when a sentence in Australia would be so much less.
Young people can easily be drawn into illegal and unsavoury activities which does not mark them as permanently bad criminals. I can imagine that the young people involved have cause every day to deeply regret their actions and the effects on themselves and their families. I believe that they deserve a chance to turn their lives around and make a meaningful contribution to Australian society.
I do appreciate the difficulty that you face in trying to change the policy position of the Indonesian Government on this matter and I also appreciate that you cannot interfere in the workings of another sovereign Government. However I am sure that you can continue to make known the views of the Australian Government and can request that the prisoners be transferred to Australian gaols where conditions are better. Another compelling reason for your continued political pressure in respect of the Bali Nine is that the Australian Federal Police deliberately waited until they had left Australia to notify Indonesian authorities and made no attempt to divert these young people before they arrived in a jurisdiction where the penalty was of the harshest order.
Even if your influence can only be limited, I believe you should continue to make known our Government’s deep disagreement with these penalties. Please listen to my request as a citizen and as a mother and do what you can to save these young people from such a terrible fate.
Dr Jane Thomson
(Contact details edited by AACP)