Australian tourists voice disapproval to tourism boycott

Denpasar, Bali (ANTARA News) - Australian tourists visiting Bali have expressed their disagreement to the tourism boycott, which is a mark of protest over the imminent executions of Bali Nine ringleaders, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan.

"I do not agree with the boycott because I still love Bali," Coally Ann, an Australian tourist stated here on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Julia Ann, who is Coallys sister, also supports tourism in Bali.

"We will continue to support tourism in Bali," she noted.

However, they are protesting on humanitarian grounds against the execution sentence awarded to the two Australians.

"We do not agree with the death penalty. That is not correct because they are human beings," she noted.

Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan were granted death sentence in 2006 for leading a drug trafficking group known as the Bali Nine.

They were arrested in 2005 at an airport and hotel in Bali for smuggling 8.2 kilograms of heroin.

"We have been following the current news. We are very sad about the death penalty," she stated.

The Australian government had appealed to the Indonesian government to spare the lives of the two citizens on death row.

The death penalty in Indonesia, especially imposed on drug offenders, does not contradict human rights and the international law, noted Desra Percaya, the Permanent Representative of Indonesia to the United Nations (UN).

The abolishment of death penalty is not a universal standard in human rights, and the discussion in the UN forum is still ongoing and has not yet reached a consensus, Desra noted.

"Every country has its unique challenges. The implementation of death penalty is the governments response to the unique challenges faced by Indonesia," the ambassador stated.

He also pointed out that the imposition of death penalty in Indonesia is not considered as extra-judicial killings or arbitrary executions that violate the human right norms.

The death penalty in Indonesia is an action that has been imposed through the legal process, he said.

"Indonesia praised the UN secretary generals effort to communicate directly with the government but deplored the approach, which is based on a narrow understanding," Desra remarked.

"This approach could impact the integrity of the UN secretary general as discussion on the issue of death penalty is still ongoing," he affirmed.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported that United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed to Indonesia not to execute the prisoners on death row for drug crimes, including the citizens of Australia, Brazil, France, Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria, and the Philippines.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Ban had spoken to Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi on Thursday "to express his concern at the recent application of capital punishment in Indonesia."

"The UN opposes the death penalty under all circumstances," Dujarric noted in a statement on Friday.

"The secretary general has appealed to the Indonesian authorities that the executions of the remaining prisoners on death row for drug-related offenses should not be carried out," Dujarric stated.

The preamble of the UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988, admits that drugs pose a serious threat to the health and welfare of human beings and adversely affect the economic, cultural, and political foundations of the society.

(A063)



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