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Geopolitics

Brazilian Man Facing Execution In Indonesia Appeals To President Dilma

Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira, 50, has been sitting in an Indonesian jail for eight years waiting to be executed for drug trafficking. In a phone interview, he pleads with Brazilian president Dilma Roussef to save him.

Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira (Youtube)
Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira (Youtube)
Ricardo Gallo

SÃO PAULO – Sitting on death row in an Indonesian prison, 50-year-old Brazilian Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira says a prosecutor asked him, as a joke, what his last wish was going to be. "I want three bottles of Chivas whisky and two girls," he answered.

Archer would prefer not to have a last wish - he's hoping Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff will help him. "I asked her to save me. She is the only one who can do it", he told Fohla by telephone.

Arrested in 2003 while entering Indonesia with 13.4 kg of cocaine, Archer was sentenced to death in 2004 – and has worn out all legal recourses available to him in the courts. He is awaiting his death by firing squad at the maximum-security prison of Pasir Putih ("white sand"), 430 kilometers from the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.

Last week, a prosecutor told a local newspaper that Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had rejected his last appeal for clemency and that Archer would be executed in the following weeks.

He knows that the best thing that could happen to him would be for his death sentence to be commuted to life, which means he would spend the rest of his existence 15,400 km from Brazil. The alternative is death by firing squad.

FOHLA – Eight years after you were sentenced to death, the prosecutor told a newspaper that you would be executed soon. How do you react?
MARCO ARCHER CARDOSO MOREIRA – I...silence. What am I supposed to do?

Has anybody told you about your pending execution?
No. Nobody has told me about it. All I know is what was said in the local press. But a month ago an official came here and made me sign a blank piece of paper.

Did you sign the paper without talking to your lawyer?
I did. But it's not worth a thing. The embassy lawyer in Jakarta told me that since it was blank, the document had no legal value. Other prisoners also signed blank papers.

Does it worry you? I mean, maybe it has something to do with your execution...
They told me it doesn't mean anything. The prosecutor joked and asked me what my last wish was. I asked for three bottles of Chivas whisky and two girls. Just kidding!

Are you afraid?
Fear, no... Well, just a little bit. Anyone here might be executed at anytime. But there are lots of people that were arrested before me.. So only God knows who will be next.

Who could help you?
President Dilma. She's the only person who could help me. She may be able to reduce my sentence to life-imprisonment. I also pleaded with the Indonesian president for his help. He is very powerful.

Do you know how the execution is done?
Two Nigerians were executed here in 2008 - the last two to be executed in Indonesia. The prison chief came and told them that somebody wanted to see them. The police grabbed them and took them away to be shot. One of the Nigerians tried to run away, but it didn't work.

When were they told about it?
One month before.

Read the original article in Portuguese

Photo - Youtube

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Coronavirus

Chinese Students' "Absurd" Protest Against COVID Lockdowns: Public Crawling

While street demonstrations have spread in China to protest the strict Zero-COVID regulations, some Chinese university students have taken up public acts of crawling to show what extended harsh lockdowns are doing to their mental state.

​Screenshot of a video showing Chinese students crawling on a soccer pitch

Screenshot of a video showing Chinese students crawling

Shuyue Chen

Since last Friday, the world has watched a wave of street protests have taken place across China as frustration against extended lockdowns reached a boiling point. But even before protesters took to the streets, Chinese university students had begun a public demonstration that challenges and shames the state's zero-COVID rules in a different way: public displays of crawling, as a kind of absurdist expression of their repressed anger under three years of strict pandemic control.

Xin’s heart was beating fast as her knees reached the ground. It was her first time joining the strange scene at the university sports field, so she put on her hat and face mask to cover her identity.

Kneeling down, with her forearms supporting her body from the ground, Xin started crawling with three other girls as a group, within a larger demonstration of other small groups. As they crawled on, she felt the sense of fear and embarrassment start to disappear. It was replaced by a liberating sense of joy, which had been absent in her life as a university student in lockdown for so long.

Yes, crawling in public has become a popular activity among Chinese university students recently. There have been posters and videos of "volunteer crawling" across universities in China. At first, it was for the sake of "fun." Xin, like many who participated, thought it was a "cult-like ritual" in the beginning, but she changed her mind. "You don't care about anything when crawling, not thinking about the reason why, what the consequences are. You just enjoy it."

The reality out there for Chinese university students has been grim. For Xin, her university started daily COVID-19 testing in November, and deliveries, including food, are banned. Apart from the school gate, all exits have been padlock sealed.

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