Febriamy Hutapea & Ezra Sihite
The Geneva-based Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) deplored on Friday President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s move to trade clemency for a convicted Australian drug smuggler in exchange for the release of Indonesian minors in Australian jails.
HRGW said in a statement that to grant Australian Schapelle Corby clemency was one of several indications showing Yudhoyono’s incapability of properly using diplomacy to secure the release of young imprisoned Indonesian fishermen arrested for taking illegal migrants to Australia.
“HRWG condemns the granting of clemency in trade for the release the [minors]. It is President Yudhoyono’s responsibility to seriously engage in diplomacy to free those fishermen,” it said.
Scorn was also aired the People’s Consultative Assembly Deputy Chairman (MPR) Hajriyanto Thohari, who said that although the clemency did not violate the laws, it went against the government’s own “war on drugs.”
“The granting of clemency for Corby is the most ironic [occurrence] in 2012,” Hajriyanto said in an e-mail on Friday. Such clemency, he said, should have been decided based on legal and formal approaches, and recommendations from the Supreme Court.