Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Edward Behr


There are currently appeals in progress in Indonesia's Denpassar District Court whereby convicted Bali Nine members Scott Rush, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are seeeking to have their death penalties lifted.  They are aged 24, 26 and 29 respectively.  Rush and the others were arrested on 17 April 2005, with Rush  being sentenced to life imprisonment on 13 February 2006.  Chan and Sukumaran were sentenced to death, the prosecution having claimed they were the leaders of the operation.  When Rush appealed his life sentence, he too was sentenced to death, the only one of the drug mules to be so sentenced.

During a TV news item on the appeals last Saturday night, an Australian reporter approached Sukumaran as he was led towards the court room, flanked by prison oifficers.  The report extended his microphone into Sukumaran's face and said "How do you think your court case is going?"  Sukumaran did not respond.

It beought to mind the following:

 "Anyone here been raped and speaks English?"

- The title of the 1978 memoirs of journalist Edward Behr (1926-2007), taken from a question he heard a BBC reporter shout to a crowd of Belgian civilians waiting to be airlifted out of the Belgian Congo c 1960. The title was changed for the US market to Bearings: A Foreign Correspondent's Life Behind the Lines.

 

1 comment:

  1. It is a difficult situation. On one hand, Myuran and Andrew have the sword of Damocles hanging over their heads, are obviously very nervous about their case and Myuran in particular had a terrible flu last Friday, so one can understand why they weren't engaging in witty banter. On the other hand, the news crews had travelled at least 7 hours (and in the case of one Channel 9 journalist, been ordered to cut short precious annual leave) to cover the story and all they wanted was a 10-second sound-byte for the evening news so that they could get back on another 7-hour flight. I understand the point you are trying to make and the analogy with Behr, but I don't envy (or blame) anyone in those circumstances.

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