"Minister Bishops statement is regrettable. It is regrettable that she is trying to mislead the publics understanding of the issue by contradicting two different things," international law professor Hikmahanto Juwana from state Universitas Indonesia (UI) stated here on Wednesday.
He remarked that Minister Bishop had said that the Indonesian government has taken two contradictory steps by on one hand, stating that the execution is a law enforcement effort, while on the other hand sending its envoys abroad to prevent the execution of its citizens on death row.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno L. Marsudi noted that the upcoming execution of the two Australian convicts is being carried out in accordance with the framework of law enforcement in Indonesia as a sovereign state.
Meanwhile, the dispatch of envoys to conduct lobbying against a death sentence awarded to Indonesian citizens is being done within the framework of implementing the states obligation to protect its citizens, Hikmahanto explained.
"The two things need not contradict each other as they are different and are not correlated," he pointed out.
He emphasized that the Indonesian government has always endeavored to meet its obligation to protect its citizens, but it has never intervened in the sovereignty of the nations that would carry out the death sentence awarded to its citizens.
"This is what the Australian government has never done. Australia, in carrying out its obligation to protect its citizens, has acted beyond its limits. Therefore, it is unsurprising that the various efforts that it has taken have been categorized as an intervention of Indonesian sovereignty," he stated.
Among the efforts taken by Australia include softly threatening Indonesia that less Australian tourists will visit Bali and to re-evaluate cooperation between the two countries, he noted.
Hikmahanto said the Australian threats have incited the public ire in Indonesia, and unless they are stopped, it is feared to further impact the relations between the two countries.
Indonesia will soon execute 11 convicts sentenced to death, including nine drug convicts, two of whom are Australian nationals, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.
The two Australians were members of the Bali Nine drug ring. On April 17, 2005, they were caught in Bali trying to smuggle 8.3 kilograms of heroin worth some Rp40 billion out to Australia.
(Reporting by Rangga Pandu Asmara Jingga/Uu.H-YH/INE/KR-BSR/O001)