Napalm Death's Barney Greenway Issues Clemency Plea to Indonesian President

Napalm Death's Barney Greenway Issues Clemency Plea to Indonesian President
Photo: Adam Wills
Napalm Death vocalist Barney Greenway has reached out to Indonesian president Joko Widodo in an effort to overturn a few upcoming death sentences in the country.

With the president apparently being a big Napalm Death fan, having been seen in photos wearing one of their T-shirts, UK grind vocalist Greenway has penned a pair of letters asking clemency in the matter of a pair of drug-related cases.

Earlier in the month, it was reported by Metal Injection that the musician had asked Widodo to call off the execution of Australian metal fans Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, two Australian metal fans who are currently incarcerated for smuggling heroin into the country. Greenway urged for a non-violent solution, which he told Widodo is a theme often covered in Napalm Death's music.

"As a follower of our band Napalm Death, you would appreciate that our lyrics and ethos challenge the unbroken cycle of violence in the world, whether it comes from a state or as an individual," he wrote in the letter. "If these things are not challenged and ultimately changed, I believe we will never truly move forward as humankind."

The Independent now reports that a second letter has been sent, with Greenway now asking to spare the life of Lindsay Sandiford, a British woman arrested in Bali after being caught coming into the country £1.6 million of cocaine. Sandiford claims that drug dealers had forced to carry the drugs over into Indonesia from Thailand and had the lives of her children threatened if she did cooperate.

"My request for a considered, humane perspective extends to all prison detainees, but particularly in the case of Lindsay Sandiford it would appear that she was under duress to transport drugs, with her family under threat if she did not comply," he wrote in the second letter.

Greenway goes on to note that Sandiford currently has no legal representation, and worries about a "miscarriage of justice." Again, he pleads for clemency, appealing to Widodo's more progressive politicking.

"To my mind, your election platform promises of moves toward a more egalitarian civic structure means protection at all levels — and capital punishment can only take things backwards in that respect."

You can read the full letter below. Widodo has not yet responded.

In band news, Napalm Death are currently on tour behind the recently released Apex Predator - Easy Meat. You'll find the details on their "Through Space and Grind" tour with Voivod and Exhumed over here.

Dear Mr Widodo,

I am writing to you again to appeal for mercy and restraint, this time regarding the case of Lindsay Sandiford, a prisoner from the UK who it would seem is facing the prospect of imminent execution on the grounds of cocaine trafficking.

My request for a considered, humane perspective extends to all prison detainees, but particularly in the case of Lindsay Sandiford it would appear that she was under duress to transport drugs, with her family under threat if she did not comply.

Speaking generally, there have been countless miscarriages of justice and excessive punishments throughout history, and when the designated penalty is death I would suggest that someone potentially faced with no option but to bow to such a threat deserves far greater hearing and protection from the gravest of penalties.

Currently, Lindsay Sandiford has not seemingly been afforded the legal resources to present her case, so to deal with her case in the cruellest way would be to do so on a partial hearing of the facts at hand and not upon any form of justice as I understand the concept.

For the second time, Mr Widodo, I would ask you to raise yourself above the threshold of all those in power that merely pretend to make changes for the better. To my mind, your election platform promises of moves toward a more egalitarian civic structure means protection at all levels - and capital punishment can only take things backwards in that respect.

I ask you to please keep these promises at the forefront of your mind and urgently give your attention to Lindsay Sandiford's plight.

In peace and hope, as ever

Mark 'Barney' Greenway (Napalm Death)