Last year, Joko Widodo became the president of Indonesia. While that wouldn’t necessarily be the kind of thing that would get him written about in Metal Insider, it turns out he’s a total metalhead. The guy’s been pictured wearing a Napalm Death shirt, and was also given a bass by Robert Trujillo. He won in part because he is the soon of a wood-seller and was a nice alternative to the authoritarian past of the Government. It turns out that Napalm Death’s Barney Greenway wrote the President a letter, and it wasn’t to thank him for his support. Metal Injection have gotten their hands on the letter that Greenway wrote, asking that two drug smugglers caught bringing drugs into the country be given clemency. Here’s the letter:
“Dear Mr. Widodo,
I am appealing directly to you to please spare the lives of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, the two Australian citizens who are currently awaiting the death sentence in Indonesia for heroin smuggling. 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. If these things are not challenged and ultimately changed, I believe we will never truly move forward as humankind.
I understand that you are standing as a leader determined to change things for the better, and so I believe granting clemency would be a major step forward in this pursuit of betterment. I appreciate that heroin can be damaging on many levels, but I believe that this is a much deeper issue that cannot be changed or altered by simply taking away the lives of people.
Again, I respectfully ask that you make a real difference and overturn these sentences.
In hope and peace
Mark ‘Barney’ Greenway (Napalm Death)”
So in effect, Greenway isn’t asking that they be totally absolved of their crimes, just that they not be put to death. That seems logical. Napalm Death have always been a political band, so it’s not that out of character for Greenway to write a letter like this. So far, no response from Widodo.