Australian Catholic University will create two scholarships named after executed drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran for Indonesian students to study in Australia.
The scholarships will provide full tuition fees to the student’s chosen course over four years and be awarded to those who write an essay based on the theme of “the sanctity of human life”.
Vice-chancellor Professor Greg Craven said the scholarships would be a fitting tribute to the “reformation, courage and dignity” of the two Bali 9 ringleaders.
“In a small but symbolic way, the writing by Indonesian students on the sanctity of life would be an ongoing contribution toward the eventual abolition of the death penalty in Indonesia,” he said in a statement.
Before facing the firing squad, Chan and Myuran Sukumaran said they wanted their legacy to be a renewed push across the globe to abolish the death penalty.
However Indonesia has shown no sign of ending the practice, with plans already in place to kill five murderers. Up to 50 drug felons are also slated to be killed this year.
Professor Craven said that hope remained for a reprieve for other prisoners around the world on death row.
“The death penalty is a violent, cruel and immoral punishment that has no place in our society. And yet it persists,” he said.
They’ve got to be kidding, right?
Irrespective of your view on capital punishment, these men are convicted drug couriers and whose actions should not be glorified in this way. They are not martyrs, they knew what they were doing, were aware of the penalties, but took the risk for quick profit and got caught.
The actions of the Australian Catholic University will have NO influence on the Indonesian government, or its view on how it feels it should deal with perpetrators of drug crime.
I don’t see the ACU trying to influence the United States on its capital punishment policies, or naming scholarships after its death row inmates.
Where does this stop?