Tamil Australian Man Faces Death Penalty in Indonesia

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We all make mistakes. But some mistakes can literally lead to life or death. As a young man in his twenties, Myuran Sukumaran made the wrong decision to commit a crime, along with his friend Andrew Chan, and now the pair face execution in Indonesia.

On April 17, 2005,  Myuran and other members of the Bali Nine (the name given to the group of men who planned to smuggle 8.3 kg of heroin valued at about A$4 million from Indonesia to Australia), were arrested for drug trafficking in Bali, Indonesia. For their involvement, Myuran and Andrew were sentenced to death by firing squad on February 14, 2006.

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Myuran S. Source: http://www.straitstimes.com/

Myuran has apologised for his crime and is an example of how someone can change. Since his conviction, Myuran has made world news regularly for transforming Kerobokan prison, where he’s being held, into a positive place over the past six to seven years.

One of Myuran’s cousins shared the following details with us about his transformation in prison:

“He has worked diligently to initiate classes and activities, which allow inmates to improve themselves. The transformation took a lot of hard work and determination, with Myuran having to regularly seek permission from the prison governor to allow these rehabilitation workshops to run. The activities did not exist before and it was through gaining the trust of guards, successive prison governors and inmates that he was able to accomplish so much. The different activities that Myuran has initiated include asking different Australian and international artists, teachers and lecturers to come to teach prisoners about art, philosophy, graphic design, dance, music, English, film and photo editing. Myuran’s efforts have also helped prisoners gain skills and certificates that they can use when they are released.”

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Myuran is an avid painter which he shares here with Ben Quilty at Kerobokan Prison in Bali. Source: news.com.au

In June of 2011, when Myuran appealed to have his sentence commuted to life, the former Kerobokan prison governor Pak Siswanto, who was moved by Myuran’s transformation, took the unprecedented step to speak out on his behalf. This was very rare and done so at personal risk. Pak Siswanto indicated that in all his time, he had never met a prisoner like Myuran and that execution was the wrong punishment in his case.

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Andrew and Myuran. Source: www.news.com.au

To date, Myuran has had his bid for clemency from the Indonesian President rejected and he is facing the prospect of being executed. Execution comes through being taken to a remote place, getting tied to a post or a wooden cross, as a group 12 armed executioners with guns line up and start shooting. It is often said that death comes slowly.

Myuran’s family, friends and community have come together to appeal to the decision makers. However, Indonesia’s President, Joko Widodo, recently told CNN in an interview that there would be “no compromise” for drug traffickers on death row.

Myuran, Andrew and their families remain hopeful and seek any support they can receive as the men fight for their lives.

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Edith Visvanathan, the grandmother of Myuran Sukumaran speaks to a crowd gathered in support of Myuran. Source: http://www.theguardian.com/
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Myuran’s mother Ranjini Sukumaran holds a picture of him when he was younger.

Related articles from external media:

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran to be among next executed, says Indonesia’s attorney general

Bali Nine: crowd pleads for lives of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan

You can communicate your support for Myuran and Andrew using these #’s:

#keephopealive

#mercycampaign

#chansukumaran

– Featured image sourced from The Guardian.

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21 thoughts on “Tamil Australian Man Faces Death Penalty in Indonesia

  1. I don’t agree with the death penalty in this case but a less harsher sentence should suffice.

  2. His second chance was Australia opening its doors for his family. If he chose the lifestyle involving smuggling illegal drugs to be distributed to destroy more lives then this guy and his partner deserve to be penalized as decided initially. They were aware of the risk, they got caught now let them serve this sentence. Hopefully others involved in such business would hopefully learn a lesson or two.

  3. Anuchellam86 What a heartless thing to say! We shouldn’t even have capital punishment in this day and age. You know, in our so called civilized societies. Yes what they did was wrong – but death by firing squad for drug trafficking (committed at such a young age) is not a justifiable punishment.

  4. Smuggling heroin isn’t a mistake. It’s a choice. A choice he made in a country where the crime has the death penalty for it.

  5. Speeding can be a mistake, but if you smuggle 8.3kg of heroin, one obviously thought about the crime to some extent. That same thinking should have gone into researching the consequences. In a country, where the justice system is too lenient, I am a proponent of harsher punishments.

  6. Unfortunatly if the Indonesian government forgives and releases him, what message does this send to the world ? Its a tough situation for his family as well as they are understandably pushed to campaign for their son’s freedom

  7. Even though he made a huge mistake by choosing the wrong path, he shouldn’t have to face death penalty. Death penalty is the same thing as murdering in my eyes. To teach a lesson for doing something wrong, they are going to do something wrong. I don’t think anyone has the right to take away life because it’s too precious and the ones that are fighting to live, only understand the value of it. Maybe life sentence but not death sentence.

  8. Anon2015 yes yes I’m heartless and everything evil because I strongly agree upon this verdict! Seriously, whatever! If your son, daughter, brother, sister or someone you deeply cared about was affected by illegal drugs and if you had to lose a life that you
    Loved to street drugs then I’m sure you’re voice about this man’s verdict would be somewhat different. Of the nine these two are being executed because they were somewhat involved in the higher rungs of this crime. They knew the consequence to their crime, they got caught now let them pay the price. If this was a different scenario were you rchild or sibling was brutally and sexually assaulted and killed I wonder if you’d easily forgive and ask for life in prison or be enraged and have the perpetrator have his life ripped away. Innocent lives matter, but if they chose to destroy thousands of other lives by distributing and smuggling drugx to complete their lavish lifestyle, then they should be executed. I have an opinion different from yours, Big deal!!! These wastes of spaces don’t even deserve thIs argument!

  9. Anuchellam86 It sounds like you’ve lost someone due to drug addiction and I sympathize with that but my initial thoughts still hold. People take drugs for various reasons (but bc they’re available is not the main one- they’re made available because a demand is created). Read this article:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/the-real-cause-of-addicti_b_6506936.html

    Putting aside emotions, why on earth do we still have the medieval practice of punishment by death? Have we not evolved beyond that where we can deal with delinquent members of society in a more humane way? These guys were 23 when they committed this crime- who knows what type of broken homes and terrible situations they came from that drove them to do something so stupid. 

    No one is saying they should get off free. They can remain in jail but execution is not the answer- especially for an individual who has shown so much remorse and transformation.

  10. Kaiji_Itou_ He’s not really being ‘released’, he just wants his sentence changed to life imprisonment.

  11. heyhihello ravidali
    Its Chttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment for Drug Trafficker in 32 COUNTRIES PARTICULARLY  in Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand etc. We cannot be lenient to drug traffickers…
    I believe that this is the RIGHT price to pay. They are 100% scum and verminous parasites in our society.
    I pity his family but not him. He should knows well the law of country before getting himself into trouble.

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