Bali 9 pastor’s deadly lesson
More Aussie drug executions loom
THE pastor who stood with Bali Nine member Myuran Sukumaran in the harrowing moments before his execution has warned that drug-taking Aussie travellers are failing to learn from his mistakes.
Speaking ahead of the release of a documentary recounting the last 72 hours of the life of Sukumaran (pictured), Melbourne pastor Christie Buckingham has warned it was only a matter of time before history repeats itself.
“Very quickly people forget how easy it is to get into trouble,’’ Ms Buckingham said.
“Drugs are more accessible than ever, certainly in Bali, and Aussie tourists can get specifically targeted by traffickers, especially when they are drunk.
“The fact is many Australians travel to countries where they have the death penalty and yet it doesn’t seem to be a deterrent.
“What happened to Myuran and Andrew will happen again.’’
Ms Buckingham’s comments come just days after a Queensland man became the latest Australian arrested in Bali over drug possession when marijuana mixed with tobacco and the sedative Diazepam was allegedly found in his baggage at the country’s international airport.
The documentary on Sukumaran’s final hours, Guilty, opened at the Adelaide Film Festival this week.
Directed by Matthew Sleeth, it highlights the final 72 hours of the Western Sydney man’s life before he was shot by firing squad along with fellow Bali Nine member Andrew Chan in April 2015.
The pair were two of nine drug mules convicted for attempting to smuggle heroin out of Indonesia in 2005. The film focuses on Sukumaran’s rehabilitation with many critics pointing to his reform and moves to becoming an accomplished artist as a defining argument against capital punishment. Ms Buckingham said the documentary would give audiences a better understanding of how much the drug smugglers’ lives had changed and strengthen the global campaign lead by organisations like Reprieve Australia. Ms Buckingham, whose pastoral care work continues to this day at Bali’s Kerobokan Prison, said it had also been an important personal journey. She said the challenge to make Australians of all ages aware of the consequences and the push to end capital punishment would continue.