Monday, February 20, 2006

Australia needs to argue against the death penalty: Amnesty International

"Australia may be seen as hypocritical as it argues for clemency for two men sentenced to death in Bali for drug trafficking.

That's the concern of Tim Goodwin, the anti-death penalty campaigner for Amnesty International. "The problem for the Australian government is the fact that it's taken such a double standard on the death penalty over the last couple of years, that it's going to be really hard for the government to mount a convincing case against the death penalty when for example, they've approved the death sentence against the Bali bombers."

Indonesia may well respond that Australia is being "hypocritical and selective" about where the death penalty is applied and who should be spared, feels Tim. Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, were this week sentenced to death, while the others of the so-called 'Bali Nine' have been given life sentences for attempting to traffic heroin.

Australia ought to be arguing against the death penalty in the broader framework of a human rights issue, says Tim; the right to life is a fundamental human right. If Australia is credible and consistent, it would have a stronger case from which to argue that these men should not be executed."

No comments: