This is what the world could lose in 72 hours.

In 72 hours, so much could be lost.

In less than 72 hours, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan may be executed. The official notice has been given. From any time after Tuesday, without warning, they could be blindfolded and then led to a yard where they will be shot.

Two lives, ended. Not through a tragic act of nature, like the earthquake in Nepal. Not in a random attack or through negligence or in war. But at the behest of a government who refuses to believe that these men’s lives have value.

But their lives do have value. So much will be lost if their lives are taken.

Mothers will lose their sons. They will lose their boys who were once part of their bodies and forever a part of their souls.

Andrew Chan’s mother with a picture of her son.

Siblings will lose their brothers, the people who should have always been there to lift them up and stand tall beside them. They will be gone.

A fiancée will lose her love. Febyanti Herewila will never be Andrew Chan’s bride. He will be lost to her.

A congregation will lose their pastor. If Andrew Chan dies, they will not only lose their spiritual adviser – they will also lose a man who is living the deepest tenets of their faith: a belief in the power of divine forgiveness and that a man can be redeemed, no matter what his crimes.

Fellow prisoners will lose their role models and their friends. Those same prisoners will also lose their motivation to reform and their desire to be rehabilitated, because they now know that it means so very little.


The world will lose an artist. A man who found expression and inspiration in the darkest of places. Myuran Sukumaran will create no more; he will paint no more. There are works that he will never paint, that will never inspire or challenge or enlighten. They will be lost.

The Indonesian President, Joko Widodo, will lose his chance to show compassion. He will lose an opportunity to lead. He will lose the respect of many of his contemporaries around the world.

Indonesia itself will lose the contribution made by Andrew and Myu. They will lose the leadership that they showed in the prison population. They will lose the intervention work that they do with drug-addicted inmates and the work they do in the community. And they may lose tourism as Australians turn away from a country that cannot countenance mercy.

Australia will lose two young men. We will lose faith in our neighbours. We will lose trust in a destination that is beloved by so many.

But mostly, we will lose hope. Hope that sensible arguments can change minds. Hope that having a nation behind you can mean something. Hope that we will never find our loved ones in the same situation. Hope that compassion and mercy will win in the end. That will be lost to us.

If Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are executed, so much will be lost from their families and lost from the world.

Let them live. Please. Let them live.

See some of Myuran Sukumaran’s art here:

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