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Indonesia's Death Penalty Or Australia's Asylum Policy?

Both countries have been condemned by the United Nations for breaching international conventions on human rights.

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Following the state-sanctioned executions of two Australian citizens in Indonesia, Australia is being urged to step up its opposition to the death penalty.

Saeed Khan / Getty Images

Indonesia carried out the executions of eight foreign nationals, despite global condemnation and in breach of its obligations as a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

It states that the death penalty should only be imposed for "the most serious crimes, that is, those involving intentional killing, and only after a fair trial."

Australia is not exactly on the moral high ground when it comes to its own human rights record.

Afp / Getty Images

Just this year, Australia has been accused of breaching the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child for its refugee deal with Cambodia and for violating the UN Convention Against Torture with the indefinite detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island.

Australia has signed an international commitment to abolish the death penalty (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) but Australia's treatment of asylum seekers is also in breach of the ICCPR.

Can you tell the difference between this criticism of Indonesia's death penalty and Australia's asylum policy?

  1. 1. "Its own human rights track record is increasingly tarnished by a willingness to violate human rights for domestic political gain."

    Indonesia
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    Indonesia
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    Australia
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    Australia
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    Correct!
    Wrong!

    This was said about Australia.

    The Human Rights Law Centre said this about Australia's asylum policy in a submission to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2014.

    This was said about Australia.
    Getty Images
  2. 2. "We do deplore what's been done and this cannot be simply business as usual"

    Indonesia
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    Indonesia
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    Australia
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    Australia
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    Correct!
    Wrong!

    This was said about Indonesia.

    The Australian prime minister Tony Abbott said this about Indonesia in a press conference following the execution of the Bali Nine ringleaders.

    This was said about Indonesia.
    AAP
  3. 3. "The world has watched on as this theatre of cruelty played out"

    Indonesia
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    Indonesia
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    Australia
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    Australia
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    Correct!
    Wrong!

    This was said about Indonesia.

    Amnesty International condemned the executions, calling them "cruel, senseless and abhorrent".

    This was said about Indonesia.
    Amnesty International
  4. 4. "The minister's powers are outside the 'rule of law', they are beyond appeal. He has the powers of a tyrant... It presents a destruction of democratic process."

    Indonesia
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    Indonesia
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    Australia
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    Australia
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    Correct!
    Wrong!

    This was said about Australia.

    Former Australian PM Malcolm Fraser said in 2014 that new powers given to the immigration minister were in breach of the rule of law.

    This was said about Australia.
    Getty Images
  5. 5. "The international community must renew its resolve to rid the world of this barbaric practice."

    Indonesia
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    Indonesia
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    Australia
    Australia
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    This was said about Indonesia.

    Australian opposition leader Bill Shorten and shadow foreign minister Tanya Plibersek released a statement about Indonesia and the death penalty in response to the executions.

    This was said about Indonesia.
    Stefan Postles / Getty Images
  6. 6. "Claims are not processed in a fair, transparent, or expedient manner, with significant cost to detainees."

    Indonesia
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    Indonesia
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    Australia
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    Australia
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    Correct!
    Wrong!

    This was said about Australia.

    Human Rights Watch said this about Australia's offshore detention policy in its latest world report.

    This was said about Australia.
    Getty Images

Indonesia's Death Penalty Or Australia's Asylum Policy?

Despite the criticism, both Indonesia and Australia believe their "cruel" policies are necessary because human lives are just casualties in a war.

For Indonesia, it's the war on drugs and for Australia it's the war on people smugglers.

Both Indonesia and Australia have leaders who believe it's important to appear strong and for their policies to act as a deterrent, even if they break international law.

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