JAKARTA, Indonesia – Not all drug smugglers in Indonesia are sentenced to death, even under the current administration, which has taken a hard-line stance on drug trafficking.
The Bandung High Court, for instance, did not agree with the death sentence given by a lower court to two Iranian nationals found guilty of smuggling 40 kilograms of crystal methampetamine. (BAHASA INDONESIA: Hukuman mati dua penyelundup narkoba asal Iran dibatalkan)
“Sentencing a defendant is not about revenge, but more a form of education and lesson so that in the future the defendant won’t conduct another criminal act,” the court decision stated, according to a report on Detik.com on Monday, April 20.
The March 30, 2015 Bandung court decision saved the lives of Seyed Hashem Mosavipour bin Sayed Abdollah (36) and Moradalivand bin Moradali (32). The pair was reportedly arrested by the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) on February 26, 2014, after they took drug-filled travel bags buried in the Tangkuban Perahu Nature Reserve in Sukabumi, West Java.
In January 2015, the Cibadak district court in Sukabumi, West Java, sentenced the two Iranians to death, even though the prosecutors only sought sentences of 15-20 years.
Instead, the pair will serve life sentences, which according to the Bandung High Court should also serve as a deterrent and discourage others from violating the law.
BNN said it regretted the high court decision, which it said did not take into consideration the amount of drugs smuggled.
“If you estimate that 1 gram of meth is used by about 7 people, then almost 280,000 people could have used those drugs,” BNN spokesperson Slamet Pribadi was quoted as saying.
He added BNN hoped an appeal would reverse the decision again.
The news comes as Indonesia prepares to execute up to 11 people, 8 of whom were convicted of drug cases. These include Filipino citizen Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso and the Australian “Bali Nine” pair Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has rejected their clemency requests, claiming that Indonesia is in a drug emergency, and has ignored calls from foreign governments and human rights activists to reconsider. (READ: #AnimatED: Mercy isn’t inconsistent with rule of law)
On Monday, he reiterated his call again for other countries to respect Indonesia’s laws.
“We will practice our constitution. The law does allow for execution, and I think other countries should respect Indonesian laws,” he said in an interview aired by Philippine broadcast network ABS-CBN. (READ: Jokowi on pleas for Mary Jane: Respect our laws) – Rappler.com