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What a waste. Indonesia announces moratorium on executions six months after shooting Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

This is not a sliding doors moment.

This is not one of those “if only I had just been in a different place at that time” kind of stories.

This is the story of a government that six months after executing two Australian citizens in cold blood by firing squad after being begged to change their mind – has now changed their mind.

I give you the the government of Indonesia.

What an abhorrent, incomprehensible regime deplete of any moral compass.

If the Indonesian government had made this announcement six months ago, instead of now, these two men would still be on this earth.

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The moratorium on executions has reportedly been announced by the Indonesian government for “economic reasons.”  Basically this means due to declining exports to other countries they simply cannot afford to have another execution.

It is incredibly difficult to fathom the absolute waste of human life and the Indonesian government’s complete failure of humanity in this situation.

But then you think… if this is how we feel, what kind of hell on earth is this decision for the families of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran?

Family of Andrew Chan

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Families that begged the Indonesian Government for mercy for their children, brothers and husband.

But were given none.

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Families that provided proof to the Indonesian justice system that their sons had learnt their lesson, they had reformed, that they wanted to build a better life for themselves and the world around them.

Families that never gave up – right up to very last minutes of their loved ones lives – that the Indonesian Government could change their mind.

Shortly after taking office in October 2014, Indonesian President Joko Widodo signed off on the execution of more than 60 prisoners.

Indonesia has executed 14 drug offenders this year, straining relations with Australia, Brazil, the Netherlands and Nigeria, which all had citizens among those shot by firing squad.

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Economic growth there has now dipped below 5 per cent for two consecutive quarters this year, and much needed foreign investment is yet to pour in to help build up the nation’s depleted infrastructure.

In the wake of Chan and Sukumaran’s execution, many Australians vowed to boycott Indonesia as a tourist destination.  I was one of them.

And while I feel terrible for the good people of Indonesia that their economy is in the toilet and for the harsh daily realities that brings them – I dare to say perhaps the Indonesian President could have thought of that before he took the decision to execute foreigners.   

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Of course, the death penalty policy is not the sole reason for the decline in the Indonesian economy – they have a problem with debt, with currency weakening, with employment. However it has not helped them at all to enter trade disputes with other nations over their executions and refusal to show mercy.

The people of Indonesia are now currently paying the price economically in recriminations for their government’s decision to take these lives.

But all of this matters little for the families of Andrew and Myuran. They will feel the impact of this government’s decision every day for the rest of their lives.

A decision they begged them to make six months ago. But now it is far too late.

What a terrible waste of human life.  

Shame on them.

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