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Wednesday, 16 August 2006
Page: 222

Mr Murphy asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, in writing, on 22 June 2006:

Further to his reply to question No. 3390 (Hansard, 22 May 2006, page 183), in light of his response to the question relating to the sentencing of three Indonesian Catholics to death for their alleged roles in sectarian violence, will he follow the lead taken by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI in sending an envoy, and send an envoy from the Australian Government to plead with the Indonesian Government for their release; if so, when; if not, why not.

Mr Downer (Minister for Foreign Affairs) —The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

This is a matter for the Indonesian legal system. A request for clemency in these cases to the Indonesian President has been refused. I am aware of reports the Vatican sought a review of the death sentences for these cases. Australia encourages universal ratification of the Second Optional Protocol of 1989 to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which requires states-parties to abolish the death penalty within their jurisdictions.