Friday, February 27, 2015

President Widodo, hold your hand.


                              Nusakambangan Island

In the first place, the death penalty belongs to the past, just as torture and slavery. Since the 1948 trumpet call in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”. In the words of the Preamble, the Universal Declaration is “a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations”. This includes Indonesia, and applies to you its president. Our call to you is not interference in the affairs of you and your country; our appeal is to our shared humanity which transcends all national boundaries. Your order to kill our brothers and sisters, offends our humanity, lessens its value, and takes side with others who defy the world by taking human life for whatever reason.

You are transgressing against international law, which in a world where the death penalty has still been granted some legal tolerance, still grants exception to execution for premeditated homicide, but not for drug related crimes.

Your use of the death penalty is ineffective; there is no proof that execution deters crime, even to a marginal degree.

The world indeed suffers from a plague of drugs and it is our common challenge to find remedy for this curse on civilization. Please pay heed to the countries which have learned at the cost of countless lives that Capital Punishment is not the solution. The problem of drugs is a challenge which must depend on a concerted effort of all countries, who unite on the affirmation of the value of every life. It is also the task of every country to use all the resources of its beliefs, cultures, and traditions to counter the awful threat of drugs, a problem embedded in an addiction to gratification and a commercialism that pervades all. Play your part in this struggle to save our peoples from the plague of drugs and their trade.

Halt your preparations for death, the world holds breath as you get ready your island of death: “Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved with Mankind” John Donne
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