As the country reels following news of the overnight execution of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, fingers are beginning to point at the Australian Federal Police.
The man who alerted the Australian Federal Police (AFP) of the Bali Nine’s drug smuggling plans says the authority is partly responsible for the deaths, with outraged social media users have taken to Twitter to express their disgust over the authority’s involvement.
Some took to Twitter to express their outrage, and suggested the AFP “have blood on their hands” – a sentiment expressed across a number of tweets, from varying voices (below).
Barrister Bob Myers, a family friend of Scott Rush, recalled in an article for news.com.au this morning that he told the authority of the Bali Nine’s plans in 2005, in an effort to prevent Rush from committing a crime.
To his disbelief, the AFP used that information to alert Indonesian authorities – a move that ultimately lead to Chan and Sukumaran’s death, Mr Myers said.
Read more: Vale, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.
“The fact is they should have never even been there,” Mr Myers wrote for news.com.au today, after it was confirmed the pair had been executed by firing squad.
“There is no doubt that the Federal Police had knowledge that the information that they were providing to the Indonesian authorities would likely result in the loss of Australian lives…
“I find it difficult to accept that a Government who has now, and had then, in place strict guidelines in relation to cooperation with our foreign neighbours, where there was a risk of the imposition of the death penalty, cannot now approach such a friendly nation and ally and seek, in the light of the complete disregard and disobedience of such Guidelines, a return of these nine citizens to Australia to be dealt with in accordance with Australian law.
“There was no justification for the actions of the Police in this instance.”
Myers ended his op-ed with a plea for the Australian government to act. “Silence on the part of the Australian Government at this time condones the actions of the Federal Police,” he wrote.
Former diplomat Bruce Haigh also said the AFP’s involvement in the execution “needs investigation”.
“The AFP should never have shopped them, and having done so they should have done everything in their power to overturn this outcome. But they didn’t because their writ is to deal with the corrupt Indonesian police, naval and army personnel to prevent boats coming to Australia,” Haigh wrote for news.com.au this morning.
“They are embedded; they are almost part of the system,” he added.
Meanwhile, angry Australians have taken to social media to express their disgust.
“They have blood on their hands,” Mark (@WorldofMarkyD) tweeted.
“The Australian Federal Police has the blood of two Australians on its hands today,” Leo D’Angelo Fisher (@DAngeloFisher) weighed in.
Some of the backlash on social media this morning (post continues after gallery):
Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer announced in a press conference this morning that he will sponsor a bill, the Foreign Death Penalty Offences Act of 2015, that would make it an offence for Australian authorities to refer drug smuggling cases to countries that may impose the death penalty.
“This act, I think, will play a critical role in ensuring that these things don’t happen again,” Mr Palmer said.
“We can’t do much for the people that have lost their lives or their families, but we can ensure that they are like a beacon of hope for those who go after them to ensure this doesn’t happen again and Australian public servants or officer we employ with taxpayer’s money do carry out their duties in the best interests of Australians.”
Earlier in the week, human rights advocate Julian Burnside QC – who has long been vocal in his opposition to the death penalty – also tweeted his condemnation of the AFP, writing:
“It’s a pity the Australian Federal Police are not being fully held to account for dobbing Chan and Sukumaran in to Indonesian police”.
The sentiment was retweeted more than 660 times and favourited more than 580 times.