The Rendon Group Snapshot – 16 February 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on February 16, 2015

The Rendon Group Snapshot Report



Each week The Rendon Group’s media analysts will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent. As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request. For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at or +1-202-745-4900.


The “Bali Nine:” The Diplomatic Cost of Indonesia’s Capital Punishment Policy

 The “Bali Nine;” a group of Australians arrested on 17 April 2005 in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia for allegedly planning to smuggle heroin valued at approximately USD four million from Indonesia to Australia: (top from L to R): Myuran Sukumaran, Scott Rush, Tach Duc Thanh Nguyen, Renae Lawrence, and (bottom row L to R) Si Yi Chen, Matthew Norman, Michael Czugaj, Martin Stephen and Andrew Chan

Chiangrai Times


This week’s snapshot focuses on Indonesia’s planned execution of the Bali Nine drug smugglers, which includes citizens from Australia, Brazil, France, Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria, and the Philippines.


News Summary of events during the week of 08FEB-15FEB

  • 08FEB: Lawyers for two Australians facing imminent execution in Bali said Monday (Feb 9) they plan to launch a rare challenge against the Indonesian president’s refusal to grant them a pardon. (AFP)
  • 09FEB: The mothers of two Australian drug smugglers on death row in Indonesia tearfully begged authorities on Monday to “spare our sons’ lives”, as their lawyer revealed plans for a last-gasp legal bid. (AFP)
  • 11FEB: Lawyers fighting to save two Australian drug smugglers from the firing squad in Indonesia on Wednesday lodged a rare legal challenge to the president’s decision to reject the men’s appeals for clemency. (AFP)
  • 12FEB: Ten years after its bungled handling of the Bali Nine drug mules, the Australian Federal Police is contributing vital ­intelligence to the federal government’s bid for clemency for the group’s two ringleaders. (Daily Telegraph)
  • 12FEB: Two Australian drug smugglers on death row in Indonesia will be transferred “as soon as possible” from prison for their executions, an official said Thursday, despite Canberra’s insistence that their deaths would be a “grave injustice”. (AFP)
  • 12FEB: Australian tourists could boycott Indonesia if Jakarta executes two drug smugglers on death row, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop warned Friday, refusing to rule out withdrawing diplomats. (AFP)
  • 13FEB: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed to Indonesia on Friday not to execute prisoners on death row for drug crimes, including citizens of Australia, Brazil, France, Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria and the Philippines. (Reuters)
  • 15FEB: Millions of Australians are “sickened” by the imminent execution of two of its citizens by Indonesia, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Sunday, warning of a tough diplomatic response. (AFP)
  • 15FEB: Lawyers for the two Bali Nine on death row have alleged, in sensational new claims, that the six judges who gave them the death penalty offered a lighter sentence in exchange for a bribe. (Telegraph)



Sample of Twitter handles regarding Indonesia’s plans for execution of the Bali Nine

  • @SarWhyte – Sarah Whyte, Immigration Reporter, Sydney Morning Herald & The Age
  • @PhelimKine – Phelim Kine, Deputy Director- Asia Division, Human Rights Watch
  • @CassrelsD – Deborah Cassrels, Journalist, The Australian and Guardian
  • @Ro_Smith  – Rohan Smith, Journalist, News Corp Australia
  • @ProfSarahJ  – Sarah Joseph, Professor of Human Rights, Melbourne, Australia
  • @JewelTopsfield – Jewel Topsfield, Indonesia Correspondent, Sydney Morning Herald


Sample of Third Party Validators regarding Indonesia’s plans for execution of the Bali Nine


Dr. Binoy Kampmark, Lecturer, RMIT University, Melbourne

“The death penalty may be a monstrous use of a state’s power against the human subject, but the campaign against its use by states who have abolished it can prove inconsistent.  While Australia sermonizes against the evils of putting a person to death, it stalls on the broader issue of how best to approach a state, like, for instance, Indonesia, which uses capital punishment against drug traffickers in the name of upholding the law.”

–       Inconsistent on the Death Penalty: Australia, Indonesia and the Rule of Law, Global Research, Center for Research on Globalization, 13FEB15


Jarrah Sastrawan, Analyst, New Matilda

“One of the key political issues here concerns Jokowi himself: why is he doing this? A common answer is that it is about political tactics. In particular, it is argued that Jokowi wants to project the image of a strong leader who stands up for Indonesian interests against foreign pressure, and is decisive in his political judgments. This argument rests on the contrast between the president and his contender in last year’s election, Prabowo, who used his military background and authoritarian rhetoric to portray Jokowi as weak and indecisive.’”

–       Jokowi And The Death Penalty: Why Chan and Sukumaran are Doomed, New Matilda, 16FEB15


Indri D. Saptaningrum, Executive Director, ELSAM (Jakarta-based human rights group)

“It is ironic to see how we strive to save lives of Indonesians abroad from death penalty executions while in this country Indonesia practices the execution of other countries’ citizens.”

–       Outcry after Indonesia executes 6 for drug trafficking, Los Angeles Times, 18JAN15


Greg Craven, Vice-Chancellor, Australian Catholic University

“It asked a theoretical question which is ‘are you in favour of people being executed if they breach foreign law? The real question is, ‘are you in favour of the two reformed Australians Andrew and Myuran having their heads blown off or their hearts blown out for smuggling drugs, for which they would have gone to jail in most other countries?’”

–       Bali Nine: triple j defends decision to publish death penalty poll after claims it would be partly to blame for executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, ABC News AU, 05FEB15


Michele Levine, Chief Executive, Roy Morgan Research

“”Pretty much always Australians have been strongly of the view that if an Australian is convicted of drug trafficking in a country where that crime attracts the death penalty, that the death penalty should be carried out.”

–       Bali Nine: Triple J defends decision to publish death penalty poll after claims it would be partly to blame for executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, ABC News AU, 05FEB15



Sample of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to Indonesia’s plans for execution of the Bali Nine


1.  Bali Nine: Australia must widen death penalty opposition, says Philip Ruddock


Media: The Guardian (UK)

Byline: Gay Alcorn

Date: 12 February 2015


Philip Ruddock, the attorney general at the time of the Bali Nine arrests for heroin trafficking in 2005, has said Australia needs a “fundamental review” of how it advocates for the abolition of the death penalty.


In an interview with Guardian Australia, Ruddock, who was also the chief law officer when Melbourne man Nguyen Tuong Van was executed in Singapore in 2005, said he had personally raised the American use of the death penalty with the then president George Bush Sr when he visited Australia more than 20 years ago.


Continue Reading



2. OPINION: Why executions won’t win Indonesia’s drug war


Media: CNN

Byline: Clarke Jones and James Giggacher

Date: 13 February 2015


Sydney, Australia (CNN) Indonesia has announced that death row inmates and ringleaders of the Bali Nine drug smuggling ring, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, will be transferred from Kerokoban prison. It’s the first step in their last walk to the firing squad.


The two — who were convicted of a failed attempt to smuggle heroin to Australia in 2005 — are now more than likely to be taken out to a field on Nusakambangan, a prison island off central Java, and shot dead.


Besides the horror of the death penalty — something Australia only dispensed of in 1967 — there is so much unnecessary tragedy in this case.


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3. Abbott cites ‘legal options’ amid Bali Nine corruption claims


Media: BBC

Byline: N/A

Date: 15 February 2015


Australian Prime Minster Tony Abbott has said there are still “legal options available” in the case of two Australians on death row in Indonesia.


Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were convicted of drug crimes in 2006 and could be executed within days.


Media reports on Monday said the men’s lawyers had written to the Indonesian judiciary alleging judges had asked for bribes for lighter sentences.


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4. Indonesia moving 2 Aussies, 5 other foreigners for execution


Media: Associated Press

Byline: Niniek Karmini

Date: 16 February 2015


JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian officials said Monday that eight convicted drug smugglers, including seven foreigners, would be transferred to a prison island this week for imminent execution despite international appeals for clemency.


Among the eight are Andrew Chan, 31, and Myuran Sukumaran, 33, the ringleaders of a group of nine Australians who were arrested in 2005 for attempting to smuggle 8.3 kilograms (18.3 pounds) of heroin to Australia from the Indonesian resort island of Bali. The seven other members of the group — dubbed the “Bali Nine” by Australian media — have received prison sentences ranging from 20 years to life.


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5. Meeting to outline Bali Nine duo execution


Media: Sky News (Australia)

Byline: N/A

Date: 16 February 2015


Australian embassy officials will attend a Jakarta meeting where Indonesia will convey the formalities in its plan to execute Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.


Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry has invited all embassies with citizens to be executed to the Monday meeting, which could mean the executions will take place this week.


The meeting won’t provide the date but it will discuss the provision of 72 hours’ notice, access to prisoners for family, and the conduct of foreign media coverage, a ministry spokesman says.


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