Bali Nine: Indonesia’s Law on Death Penalty and Diplomatic Turbulence

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Bali Nine: Indonesia’s Law on Death Penalty and Diplomatic Turbulence

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This essay is the summary of the second biweekly discussion that ISAFIS members conducted on February 28th, 2005. This essay will summarize the topic of discussion, Indonesia’s Law on Death Penalty; its pros and cons to Indonesia, and how civil societies should respond to the current issue of death penalty, especially considering Indonesia’s diplomatic relation with other countries.

What is the issue about?

“Bali Nine” is a name which was given to a group of nine Australian caught and detained in Bali on 17th of April 2005, for planning to smuggle 8.3 kg of heroin valued at US$ 3.1 million from Indonesia to Australia. Indonesian court gave death sentence towards some of the members of Bali Nine while the rest were sentenced life imprisonment. This issue was revived when Indonesia’s president, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, issued a statement on 10th of December 2014 that Indonesia’s law would not give any mercy towards drug dealers. This statement was realized when Indonesian court rejected the plea for clemency from Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, two of the Bali Nine members.

The international community also put their attention because the existence of multi-issues related. First, this issue involves humanitarian issue because the international community nowadays has been rigorously campaigning for the protection of human rights globally. Secondly, on the Indonesian side at least, the existence of drug dealers who somehow easily conduct their transaction in Indonesia’s territory threatened Indonesia’s national security. Jokowi’s statement can be seen as Indonesia’s harsh stance against the threat of illegal drugs towards Indonesia’s national security. While on the Australian side, Prime Minister Tony Abbott asked Indonesia’s government for clemency towards its citizen because protecting its citizen is an important political step for the Australian government. Interrelated nature on the issue of humanitarian, security, politics, and bilateral relation between Indonesia and Australia, makes this case became an important issue to be discussed in international studies.

Current Situation

Countries such as Brazil and Netherlands have expressed their protest to Indonesia regarding the death penalty. Call for boycotting Bali through social media emerged as a form of protest by the people of Australian people to Indonesia. Tony Abbott has made several maneuvers to negotiate with Jokowi to replace the death sentence with life imprisonment or lighter sentence. Tony Abbott also made a statement citing the help Australia had given to Indonesia at the time of Aceh Tsunami in 2004, thus Tony Abbott expect a reciprocal action from Indonesia. Brazil and Netherlands have called back their ambassadors from wholesale nfl jerseys Indonesia as a form of protest to the Indonesian government. Furthermore, Brazilian government also cancelled the credential acceptance ceremony of Indonesia’s ambassador to Brazil without notice. This has led to a crack in diplomatic relations between Indonesia, Brazil, Netherlands, and Australia.

Despite the diplomatic tension, Jokowi still goes ahead with his decision to not give clemency to both Chan and Sukumaran. The latest statement by Bali’s chief prosecutor, Momock Bambang Samiarso, was both Chan and Sukumaran “definitely” will be transferred to Nusakambangan this week. The preparation for the execution is “all but complete”.

Result of Discussion

There were four main points of discussion: (1) is death penalty the right Как step for Indonesia to deal with drug trafficking issue?; (2) if death penalty is not the way to deal with drug trafficking, then what is the right solution for Indonesia in fighting and eradicating the drug trafficking issues?; (3) with protests from other countries, such as Australia and Brazil, should Indonesia fulfill the demand from other countries and mend the its bilateral relationship or still go with the death penalty to enforce Indonesia’s own law?; (4) what role should civil societies play in this issue?

The debate was enlightening, especially with the different opinions from the ISAFIS members coming from various background. On the first point of discussion some members argued for death penalty because there is currently no concrete solution from cheap fake oakleys the government in terms of law enforcement dealing with drug trafficking, and that death penalty is the best solution to deter it. Considering the pressing urgency in the Ray Ban sale case of drug trafficking—with 50 people died everyday because of drug abuse—the hard stance by Indonesian government is also a form of warning and deterrence to other drug traffickers both within Indonesia and from other countries. As a country with rule of law, Indonesian government has to enforce the law in Indonesia to its people, including towards foreigners who commit crime in Indonesia. The members who argued against death penalty also have valid reasons for their concerns. Death penalty is seen as a violation of human rights by the state because the stake takes away the right to live of the convict. Even if the person is a criminal, the criminal still have the right to live; a second chance to redeem his/her mistakes. There is also a concern that death penalty does not guarantee that death penalty will give the deterrence effect the government wants to achieve. There is also an opinion that the Indonesia’s law enforcement system should be evaluated and improved, because there are cases where police officers also took part in the drug trafficking activity. There is also a need to address the demand of drug in the society.

The discussion then move on to whether Indonesia should go on with its death penalty to Chan and Sukumaran or not. This case can give a crack to Indonesia-Australia bilateral relationship and also with other countries that expressed their protest towards Indonesian government. However, it is unlikely that Indonesia’s Cheap Jerseys From China bilateral relations with either Australia or Brazil or other countries being cut off just because of Indonesia’s death penalty. Indonesia’s importance in global politics is rising along with Asia’s growing importance, particularly in economic importance. This means Indonesia has a better bargaining power in international politics, particularly towards Brazil and Australia. In other words, Even if Indonesia still push forward the agenda of death penalty, Indonesia should not be worry too much with its relation with other countries.

Other solutions that the members discussed are the role of socialization and education. Government should increase their efforts and improve their methods of socializing the bad impacts of drug abuse. If the society is educated and more aware about the damage that drug abuse could done to themselves, then the people can deny themselves from peer pressures or offerings from the drug dealers to use the illegal drugs. This will cut the demand that supports the drug traffickers. Parental supervision is also an important element in preventing drug abuse, especially preventing usage by teenagers.

As a civil society, we should approach this issue carefully and rationally, not carried away and heat up the diplomatic tension even more. This is because despite several diplomatic spat Indonesia, Australia, Brazil and Netherlands have now, Indonesia still need other countries in its development. We should look at the issue through various aspects to see the positive and negative impacts of this issue. We also should actively supervise, criticize and provide alternative solutions to cheap football jerseys the government so the government can evaluate their policies and programs. Hopefully, the government can come up with better policies in the future.



This essay is summarized from ISAFIS’ Biweekly Discussion on the 28th of February 2015 by Raditya Naufal, a staff of the Research and Development division in ISAFIS, and also through the help of other staffs. Some arguments or explanation on this essay may not be precisely the same with what the speakers have spoken in the discussion. Further confirmation is applicable. The presenter and moderator for this discussion were Amy Darajati Utomo and Safira Pusparani. All the work made and discussed was supervised by the Manager, Malikah Ambarani, and the Director, Amy Darajati Utomo.


Reference: movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

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