Axl Rose’s Plea for Clemency From Metal-Loving Indonesian President Falls on Deaf Ears
Axl Rose made a last-minute plea to Indonesia's heavy metal-loving president on behalf of a pair of Australians facing the death penalty, but it didn't save Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. Both were executed earlier today in connection with a heroin smuggling charge from 2006.
"I appeal to you Mr. President, Mr. Joko Widodo, to use your power in ways to strengthen international relationships between your country and others to show your country's strength and allow the world to witness an extraordinary act of humanity and bravery on yours and your country's part," the Guns N' Roses frontman's letter reads.
Elsewhere in the long letter, Rose recalls performing in 2009 with Guns N' Roses at the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, where Widodo has a long history of governing. The 53-year-old served as governor of Jakarta from 2012-14 before winning the last presidential election. Along the way, Widodo has professed his love for bands like Metallica, Megadeth and others.
Chan and Sukumaran were arrested in 2005 at Denpasar airport, and later received Indonesia's standard death penalty for drug trafficking convictions. They were executed this morning by firing squad on the prison island of Nusakambangan.
Rose also asked for clemency for Mary Jane Veloso, a Filipino who was spared today after the person who allegedly recruited her into the drug trade turned herself in.
"People make mistakes, sometimes big and horribly regrettable mistakes and sometimes more importantly people learn from their mistakes and make new choices, strive and succeed at true positive change," Rose wrote. "To not acknowledge and give such change the opportunity to prove it's value would seem in this case a greater crime than those originally committed."
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