Seeking closure

Supporters of the death penalty often claim that it’s a way of achieving “closure” for relatives of the victims of the crimes concerned. I know, “closure” is a terrible Americanism but let’s not get into that right now.Of course, there’s also a powerful argument that executing a murderer merely means that another life is taken, another family loses a loved one. You can take action on behalf of someone facing execution here.

I’ve just been reading on al-Jazeera.net that the father of an Australian killed in the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings has written to Indonesian authorities urging them not to execute three men convicted over the blasts. Brian Deegan says, a day after an Indonesian court rejected a final appeal by the trio that "no good, only harm" would come from their deaths.

In case you think this is a one-off, it reminded me of a very moving feature in the Independent back in April. Susanna Miller told, in heartbreaking detail, how she lost her brother Dan in Bali and why his murderers should now be allowed to live. My tube train reached the end of the line at Ealing Broadway as I reached the end of the article and I needed a moment before I felt ready to rejoin the rush-hour crowds.

And then there’s Rachel North. She survived the July 7 London bombings and has campaigned ever since against repressive counter terrorism measures such as 42 days pre-charge detention. Her post as part of the Guardian’s recent series of Comment is Free articles on “What liberty means to me’” was all the more powerful for being so personal.Today, just ahead of the third anniversary of the fatal shooting by police of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell tube station, Rachel uses her own blog to support the family’s campaign to find out the full facts about how Jean died and Amnesty too believes they are entitled to that. Dare I suggest it might even help them achieve “closure”?

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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