Editorial: Okay, Mr. Tough Guy. We Get It. Now Stop.
What will be the exit strategy for Indonesia to extract itself from the diplomatic mess our leaders and countrymen’s insistence on executing foreign citizens for drug trafficking has caused? There’s no way out in sight, unless the executions stop.
With a total of 58 foreign nationals on death row, Indonesia is going to face increasingly intense and coordinated diplomatic protests from other nations, such as France, Britain and China, if the government insists on proceeding with all of the executions.
These countries will lodge protests because their governments will look bad domestically if they don’t go after Indonesia. There is a strong risk that relations can be harmed to such an extent as to disrupt trade and investment, as well as endanger Indonesia’s own citizens abroad.
The execution of foreign citizens is not merely about those sentenced to death: It’s also about the pride of all their countrymen. Heads of state and their diplomatic corps have a moral duty to defend the human rights of their citizens, an obligation that plays out in public for their own popularity.
Sadly, similar pride and vanity has also taken hold of President Joko Widodo, who is attempting now to look tough in the midst of a leadership crisis.
People on death row will be shot for the sake of macho posturing. Our national standing is at stake, and pressing forward with a cruel and unusual punishment, by international standards, is no way to advance our interests in the world.
Joko should consider how far he wants to pursue this course of action before it gets out of control. Now’s the time to stop without losing face. Message delivered, Mr. President. We get it, the whole world does: You mean business. Now knock it off.
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Source: The Jakarta Globe