Originally posted by e4chris to Kewpie
I have no sympathy with a system that is rightly quite lax on drug users but takes the dealers lives away, for what is a five minute conversation. If I ran a travel agent I would close every single route to bali for what they have done , systematically. As for the girls in Peru - that country grows a lot of coca- it grows there anyway, I don't thin ...[text shortened]... harsh (my understanding is they are not particularly, but a cocaine based economy is dangerous)
I have a problem with disproportionate attention and sympathy being given
(at least in the Western media) to drug dealers or smugglers on account of
their nationality and race/ethnicity rather than their actions and motives.
In 1986, Malayasia executed Kevin Barlow and Brian Chambers, white
Australian men, for smuggling heroin. There was a public outcry in
Australia, condemnation of the executions by Australia's Prime Minister
Bob Hawke, and sympathy for the drug smugglers in parts of the UK media.
A television miniseries 'Dadah is Death', starring Julie Christie, was produced.
Before executing white people for the first time, Malayasia had executed
scores of East Asians (largely ethnic Chinese) with no objection other than
by some activists opposed to the death penalty. After Malayasia resumed
executing non-white people for drug offences, the Western media resumed
its usual silence and comparative lack of concern.
If I recall correctly (it's been a long time), there was a case in Malayasia
after Barlows and Chambers were executed. It seemed like a tragic story.
A young not-yet-married couple from Hong Kong (then under UK colonial
rule) was going to be executed for drug offences. She was pregnant and,
needing money to get married (as he had promised her), she had agreed
to help him smuggling drugs 'just this once'. She had no criminal record.
After they were sentenced to death, he begged the court at least to spare
her life so she could live to see their child grow up. As British subjects,
the ethnic Chinese couple and their supporters in Hong Kong asked the UK
government for help, but the UK government seemed even less interested
than in the case of white Australians. So he was hanged. Shortly after
she gave birth, she also was hanged. Their baby would be brought up by
her parents in Hong Kong. I believe that Malayasia should have spared
her life on humanitarian grounds. She was young, foolish, desperate, and
too much in love with the wrong man at the wrong time, but did all that
and her criminal act mean that she deserved to be put to death?