Axl Rose Performs In Sydney, 2013 / Photo: Peter Coates

Axl Rose Slams “Cowardly” Indonesian President After Bali Nine Executions

Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose has spoken out against Indonesian President Joko Widodo, calling his decision not to accept appeals of clemency for the eight convicted drug smugglers executed this week, including Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, an act of “cowardice”.

In a series of tweets Rose directly criticised President Widodo, writing that his decision not to postpone the executions “until all legal challenges n’ investigations of corruption r resolved is inexcusable”.

“4 Widodo 2 b out of the country during his big statement refusing 2 take calls or read any last minute pleas 4 the condemned is cowardice,” he added. “The People of Indonesia deserve better.”

The series of tweets followed a long letter Rose had written to the Indonesian President before the executions, directly appealing for clemency on behalf of Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran as well as Philippines woman Mary Jane Veloso, who was later offered a last-minute reprieve so she can give testimony at the trial of the alleged drug trafficker.

“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,” wrote Rose in the open letter. He also sent the letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, some ambassadors and the chairman of the National Commission on Human Rights of Indonesia.

“It’s true I do not know these men nor have I met them but their story has touched me deeply,” Rose wrote. “To kill these men under these conditions of their profound and proven change for the better seems a barbaric, backward and truly disgraceful act of pride, ego, fear and prejudice, prejudice against your own system and the souls of anyone who has committed what’s been deemed a crime from one day making amends and having the opportunity to make things right by how they live their lives and not how they are brutally and with disregard executed.”

Rose joined the likes of the Temper Trap, Mumford and Sons, Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, Napalm Death frontman Mark Greenway and many more musicians whose appeals to President Widodo fell on deaf ears.

Despite countless pleas and international outrage, the indonesian government executed eight people – including Chan and Sukumaran – after midnight on Wednesday.

Read Axl Rose’s tweets and full letter below.

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