Local law should apply to foreigners

By Mitchell Blatt
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, May 15, 2015
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In 1839, Chinese officials decided to execute Lancelot Dent, the chief of Dent, Inglis & Company, for importing opium into the country. Dent was ultimately spared, but China destroyed 1.2 million kilograms (2.6 million pounds) of opium. The British government then fought the Opium Wars to obtain concessions in port cities where its citizens were immune from Chinese law.

Two centuries later, as the world celebrates the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, the war that ended colonialism across much of Asia, Western countries continue to try to prevent Asian countries from subjecting Western criminals to the enforcement of local drug smuggling laws.

The latest culprit is Australia, whose government tried in vain to get Indonesia to spare Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, two of eight convicted drug smugglers executed in Indonesia on April 29. The Brazilian government also protested the execution of one of its citizens, Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira, who was arrested in Jakarta in 2003 with 13.4 kg (29 lb) of cocaine. Four Nigerians were among the others executed.

Chan was convicted of being the mastermind behind the 2005 "Bali Nine" drug scheme, in which nine Australians attempted to smuggle 8.3 kg (18 lb) of heroin from Indonesia to Australia. According to the United Kingdom's Daily Mail, Chan was also behind a 2015 plot to smuggle 1 kg of heroin out of Hong Kong, for which Rachel Diaz and Chris Vo both received ten years imprisonment. Sukumaran was convicted of being the co-leader of the Bali Nine. Six other participants were given life sentences, and one was given a 20-year sentence.

Australia says the executions were inhumane. What about the drug smuggling? What about the people who die from overdoses or whose lives are ruined by drug use? Indonesia has an interest in keeping drugs out of their country.

Countries like China (including Taiwan), Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, and 26 others – including the United States in some extreme cases – also apply capital punishment for drug trafficking convictions.

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