Friday, 3 October 2008

Death penalty ban 'would help save Bali 9'

A Sydney Federal Labor backbencher says a permanent Commonwealth ban on the death penalty will help the campaign to get Australians off death row in Bali.

The member for Werriwa, Chris Hayes, says current legislation means the death penalty could be reintroduced by the states.

He has moved a notice of motion in Federal Parliament to stop that happening.

Mr Hayes says it was the plight of the convicted drug smuggler, Scott Rush, that motivated him to action.

"What parent of an 18-year-old hasn't got concerns about the people their child mixes with or sometimes associates with?," he said.

Scott Rush and two other Australians, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, face the death by firing squad in Indonesia.

The three Australians are members of the so-called Bali nine, who were caught trying to smuggle more than 8.2 kilograms of heroin from the resort island of Bali to Australia in 2005.

Chris Hayes says his bill also sends a clear message that Australia opposes the death penalty, increasing the diplomatic pressure on Indonesia.

It will be debated when Parliament resumes the week after next.

Rudd firm on capital punishment stance

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says the fact that he backs the death penalty for the Bali bombers in Indonesia does not signal any change in his opposition to capital punishment in Australia.

[What a contradiction in terms?]

Mr Rudd says the three men on death row in Indonesia over the bombings that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians, are cowards and mass murderers who deserve the justice that will be delivered to them.

[Wrong again: The convicted Bali bombers did not have the means to create such a bomb. There are reports that in one Balinese kampong that provided labour to the clubs in Kuta Beach, seven empty coffins were buried, because there were no identifiable remains of the missing workers. It was as if they had been vaporised. Scores of people, mainly locals, are thought to have disappeared without trace.] Australia's Terrorism Wake Up Call.

He says the Bali bombers are subject to the Indonesian system, but he has said he does not believe in the death penalty in Australia or for Australians in other nations.

"That's the view of the Liberals, that's the view of the Australian Labor Party and that'll be the case into the future as well," he said.

"Also when it comes to Australians convicted of sentences abroad, both Mr Howard when he was prime minister and myself since becoming Prime Minister, we regularly intervene with foreign countries arguing the case for clemency for Australians convicted abroad."

Quote: Clearly Kevin Rudd is lost on this one. How can he not see that all people are equal? And have been created equal - no matter where they are from? How can any person create this dilemma for themselves? For himself? For our people? Basically any other foreign country would take that as an approval to execute an Australian citizen.


Push for clear line on death penalty
PRESSURE is mounting on the Rudd Government from the Labor back bench to adopt a tougher stand against the death penalty.

I had no choice, says courier facing death
AN AUSTRALIAN sentenced to death in Vietnam this week for heroin trafficking told officials she was forced into the crime to pay off her husband's gambling debts.

'Bali nine' trio's death sentences overturned
Three 'Bali nine' members still face the death penalty, including the group's ringleaders, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, as well as Rush, the only drug mule still sentenced to death.

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