Indonesian executions: How barbaric?

SIR: Unlike in times past when a country could pursue a narcissistic policy without a care as to how other countries feel, today’s world calls for synergy amongst member countries.

I do not support non-nationals going over to foreign lands to break their laws, especially grave offences that result in death sentences. Those foreigners after all know the consequences for such offences. The same way I frown absolutely at irredentists who support irredentism especially in countries long unified and whose boundaries are long delineated for peace. Indonesia today is for me beginning to look like a country that the world must begin to rally against for her disrespect for humanity.

I am miffed that a country that the world stood watch over many times due to underground disturbances that claimed lives in ways unimaginable could ignore the world’s plea to save lives of non-nationals on death row. I couldn’t comprehend why the plea for their lives by their lawyers who accompanied them to the island where the executions took place fell on deaf ears. How can we comprehend why these condemned people were not dispatched to their countries to die with dignity.

Why shouldn’t we be angry in Nigeria especially when we know the excellent examples of prison rehabilitation outside our shores and that the convicts showed genuine remorse?

The Indonesian government was extremely cruel and heartless in the lead-up to the executions, releasing details of the proposed event, the technicalities etc. including photos of the coffins that the prisoners would be placed in once they were declared dead. Do sensitive governments ever do that?

Following the executions, many who had pleaded with the Indonesian President for mercy acknowledged their feelings of pain and sorrow and those of the wider community. These feelings endorsed the belief in a merciful God who loved each of the victims and bestowed on them a fundamental dignity. The experience of the doomed prisoners and their families and supporters was a degradation of human dignity.

It can be argued that countries with poor human rights records are a burden on the world and to civilisation.

• Simon Abah,Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

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