Indonesian Authorities Tired of Australia

Minister Threatens "Human Tsunami" Over Bali Nine Pleas

An Indonesian Minister, Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno, has made threats of what he calls a “human tsunami” if the Australian Government doesn’t stop the pressure it is putting on Indonesian authorities. The threats come after a continuous effort from the Tony Abbott-led government to save the lives of the Bali Nine duo, Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

Purdijanto, the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs of Indonesia, has accused Australia of antagonising the public and discouraging people from visiting Bali.

“If Canberra keeps doing things that displease Indonesia, Jakarta will surely let the illegal immigrants go to Australia,” said Purdijatno. “There are more than 10,000 [asylum seekers] in Indonesia today. If they are let go to Australia, it will be like a human tsunami.”

On 17 April 2005, Chan and Sukumaran were two of nine Australians arrested by Bali authorities after attempting to smuggle more than eight kilograms of heroin out of Indonesia. In 2006, the two were found guilty of providing the money, airline tickets and hotel rooms for drug mules. Chan and Sukumaran were sentenced to death by firing squad, the only time the Denpasar District Court has given the death penalty for drug trafficking.

The Australian Government has since made numerous attempts to have the sentence reduced to life imprisonment. In recent weeks, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has made a desperate plea to Indonesian officials to swap Chan and Sukumaran for three Indonesian offenders being held in Australia.

The prisoners up for negotiation were three Indonesians caught smuggling 252 kilograms of heroin into Australia in 2000. Kristito Mandagi was given 25 years without parole, and Saud Siregar and Ismunandar were given 20 years and can apply for parole in 2017.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has declined the offer. “No way, he said, “look how many people die [from drugs], our young generation … We have to look at the future.”

Abbott told Parliament last week, “As Australians we abhor drug crime. We stand resolutely against drug crime, but we are against the death penalty as well. Pull back from this brink. Don’t just realise what is in your own best interests, but realise what is in your own best values.”

An execution date for the pair is yet to be confirmed.
This article first appeared in Issue 4, 2015.
Posted 2:32pm Sunday 15th March 2015 by Henry Napier.