KEEP HOPE ALIVE – LATEST NEWS
Convicted drug smugglers, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran have been transferred from Kerobokan prison under heavy military guard as they begin their journey to Nusakambangan island, the place where they are to be executed by firing squad.
Regardless of Andrew’s and Myuran’s remarkable transformation and rehabilitation and their support of and assistance to other prisoners, since their imprisonment over nine years ago, all pleas for clemency have been rejected by the Indonesian President, Joko Widodo.
It seems that only a miracle can save the lives of these young men. Or a change of mind by the Indonesian President.
Tony Abbott, Australia’s Prime Minister, responding to the news of their transfer, today said,
"The point that I've been making again and again is that, yes, these two men have done a terrible thing, but they've now been in jail for about a decade, and in that time they have been well and truly rehabilitated. So as things stand today, these two men are actually allies of the Indonesian government in its fight against drug crime. I know that Indonesia has a ... horrible, horrible drug problem, and I absolutely appreciate and accept Indonesia's desire to fight very hard indeed against their drug menace, but these two Australians are actually assets in the fight against drugs and that's why I think these executions make no sense whatsoever."
Earlier this morning Foreign Affair's Minister Julie Bishop said the news of Chan and Sukumaran's imminent transfer was devastating.
"I will not give up hope, I will continue to make representations, I will do whatever I can to seek a change of heart, a change of mind. I've been pleading with the [Indonesian] foreign minister that she tell the president that this is a circumstance where he can show great strength, by showing mercy and forgiveness for these two young men who have been rehabilitated in their prison system in the most remarkable way."
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said people should not give up despite the transfer of the men.
"We know that the Indonesian people are generous and we appeal to that generosity," he said. "We do not believe that anything is solved by executing these two young men who by all accounts have more than rehabilitated themselves."
It is not too late for Joko Widodo to acknowledge the transformation and rehabilitation of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran by granting them clemency and letting them live.
Such an act of mercy would be a shining example to Indonesians and to the world that he is a leader of substance and compassion.
We can now only pray that he has the wisdom to change his mind.