PDI-P Lawmaker Denounces UN Chief’s Anti-Death Penalty Plea
Jakarta. An senior lawmaker from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) has criticized the secretary general of the United Nations for pleading with President Joko Widodo to not execute nine drug convicts on death row, implicitly accusing Ban Ki-moon of being a Western stooge.
“The death sentence is positive law that applies in Indonesia and the judges’ verdict is legal,” said Tubagus Hasanuddin, a member of the House of Representatives’ Commission I, overseeing international affairs. “Ban Ki-moon’s stance has proven that the United Nations can easily be influenced by big countries like Australia and France.”
Tubagus said Ban’s statement, made through his spokesman last week, has undermined the UN’s authority.
“Capital punishment is still being used in many countries, like in the Middle East, Singapore, Malaysia and many other countries including the United States,” said Tubagus, a retired Army general who is now a lawmaker for Joko’s PDI-P.
“Why hasn’t Ban made a fuss about that too? Is he upset because Jokowi criticized him at the Asian-African Conference?” he said, referring to the president’s statement calling for UN reform over its failure to eradicate global economic inequality.
Ban urged Joko to halt the imminent execution of nine people on death row, and to move towards the abolition of the death penalty in Indonesia. The nine convicts, including eight foreign nationals, are expected to be placed in front of a firing squad in the early hours of Wednesday.
Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo, another PDI-P stalwart, has also said that Ban’s request would not change Indonesia’s stance on capital punishment.
“Even if there are a thousand UN secretary generals [making such a request], President Jokowi will still hold on to the court’s ruling,” Tjahjo said. “The verdict was made by the judges, it is legally binding and has to be carried out.”
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Source: The Jakarta Globe