Dear President Widodo
There's a contentious topic of conversation flooding Australia's media this week. I'm sure you need no reminding. Your country executed not only two of our citizens, but 6 other human beings. Some people are saying they think you had a hard choice to make - to show mercy to these two Australian men, or to show integrity to your own law. And the question that I can't help but ask is, are they really the only choices you saw yourself having?
See, I don't believe that showing mercy to Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran was the answer, which may surprise some but mercy selective by nationality can't really be defined as mercy at all. However I also don't believe that the 8 executions conducted yesterday were a humane way to illustrate to your people that you would follow through on your promise to clean up crime in your country - after all this was one of your election promises right? Really I don't think your decision was hard at all - it was a choice of life or death, and you chose the latter.
I can't say that I know the full story from start to finish, similar to most of the Australians who awoke to the news yesterday, but I don't think I need to know the full story of any of the lives taken by capital punishment to question the method.
As an individual, your decision to execute Andrew and Myuran doesn't change my opinion of Indonesia, and really it would be remiss of me to judge an entire country based on the actions of the minority of those in government. My hope is that Indonesia and it's people can view Australia the same in the way our government has chosen to respond. To be honest, most of us aren't sure what removing our Ambassador means, or is set to achieve. And most of us wouldn't know what kind of discussions were or weren't had between our two countries. What we do know though is that the executions make a statements about Indonesia's law and government being unforgiving of error, ignorant to compassion and unwilling to consider mercy.
President Widodo - I admire Indonesia's commitment to it's law, but what I can't admire is the law itself. Denying a person a right to life and a right to change hasn't stopped the drug trafficking occurring - otherwise there would be no need for such discussion right? I simply have to ask the question, is putting to death people who have made a mistake actually the solution to the problem? Because it seems that Capital Punishment is better at simply making statements than solving problems, and no statement is worth a human life.
As a passive witness to these events I can only hope that our government approached you respectfully, respect was reciprocal and constructive discussion was had. Above all I hope that you have considered all the alternatives. Because as I have said, numerous times, your only choice was between life and death, and you will lie in the bed that you make for yourself.
Yours with all respect,
One voice out of 23 million from across ditch.