The article on how relations between Australia and Indonesia may become strained over death penalty matters in 2007 (“Shadow of death looms in Indonesia”, December 30, p9) was very timely. It was an excellent summary of the problems that have arisen and will arise due to the ambivalence on this matter by Howard and Downer.
What it didn’t mention is the security cooperation framework agreement, signed on behalf of Australia by Downer on the Indonesian island of Lombok on November 13, 2006.
This treaty is currently before a committee in the Australian Parliament waiting to be examined in early this year.
The treaty is flawed in two major ways its suppression of free speech on the matter of West Papua has already been the subject of negative comment by the International Committee of Jurists. More worrying, however, is the way in which it continues to allow the Australian Federal Police to pursue its policy of “anything goes” with the passage of information to the Indonesian police.
This policy has already caused six members of the so-called Bali Nine to be sentenced to death as a direct result of the AFP’s actions: the passing of information to the Indonesian National Police on the Bali Nine by an AFP officer on April 8, 2005. This exporting of state-sponsored killing by the AFP must be curbed by opposing the ratification of this treaty.
Vic Adams, Reid (Canberra Times letter)