Eight convicted Bali drug smugglers, including seven foreigners, face imminent execution

February 17, 2015 1:14 pm

Eight convicted drug smugglers, including seven foreigners, will be
transferred to an Indonesian prison island this week for imminent
execution despite international appeals for clemency, an official said
on Monday.
Among the eight are Andrew Chan, 31, and Myuran
Sukumaran, 33, the ringleaders of a group of nine Australians arrested
in 2005 for attempting to smuggle 8.3 kilograms (18.3 pounds) of heroin
to Australia from the Indonesian resort island of . The seven other
members of the group – dubbed the “Bali Nine” by Australian media – have
received prison sentences ranging from 20 years to life.
In
addition to Chan and Sukumaran, five men from France, Brazil, Ghana,
Nigeria and Indonesia, and a woman from the Philippines, will face a
firing squad after being moved to Nusa Kambangan prison, Attorney
General’s Office spokesman Tony Spontana said, without giving exact
dates.

Six other drug smugglers, including five foreigners, were
executed in January at the same prison, located off Indonesia’s main
island of Java.

Australian death-row prisoners Myuran Sukumaran, right and Andrew Chan,
left, stand in front of their cell during an Indonesian Independence Day
celebration. Photo / AP

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has
rejected appeals by Australia’s government for clemency for Chan and
Sukumaran, and vowed not to grant mercy to any other drug offenders
because Indonesia is suffering a “drug emergency.”
Australia has abolished capital punishment and opposes executions of any Australian overseas.
Lawyers
for the two Australians, who are currently being held at a Bali prison,
filed a complaint in an administrative court last week to challenge
Jokowi’s rejection of the appeals, arguing that it was made without
consideration of their remorse and rehabilitation. A hearing on the
complaint is scheduled for next week.Spontana, however, said the
executions would not be delayed.
“Their legal options were exhausted after their clemency was rejected by the president,” he said. “The next step is execution.”
In
Australia earlier Monday, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he had
personally appealed to Jokowi to stop the executions. “Like millions of
Australians, I feel sick in the pit of my stomach when I think about
what is quite possibly happening to these youngsters,” he told
reporters.
Abbott said his government has been trying to appeal to Indonesia’s sense of itself as a stable democracy under the rule of law.
“What
I don’t want to do is turn this into some kind of test of strength,” he
said. “I think we are much more likely to back the Indonesians into a
corner than to get the result we want.”
Six former Australian
prime ministers on Monday added their voices to calls to spare the
Australians. Former prime ministers Malcolm Fraser, Bob Hawke, Paul
Keating, John Howard, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard issued statements in
support of the pair published in The Australian national newspaper on
Tuesday.
“As a deep, long-standing friend of Indonesia, I would
respectfully request an act of clemency,” wrote Rudd, who was prime
minister from 2007 until 2010, then again in 2013.
“Mercy being
shown in such circumstances would not weaken the deterrent effect of
Indonesia’s strong anti-drug laws,” wrote Howard, who was prime minister
from 1996 until 2007.
Indonesian Foreign Ministry officials met
with embassy representatives from the foreign death row inmates’
countries Monday to discuss the executions. The representatives and the
Indonesian officials declined to talk to the media after the meeting.
United
Nations human rights experts have expressed concern at reports
indicating trials for some of the defendants did not meet international
standards of fairness and have called for an immediate halt to further
executions in Indonesia.Indonesia has extremely strict drug laws.
On
January 18, it executed six drug convicts by firing squad, including
foreigners from Brazil, Malawi, Nigeria, the Netherlands and Vietnam,
brushing aside last-minute appeals by foreign leaders.
There are 133 people on death row in Indonesia, including 57 for drug crimes and two convicted terrorists.
Associated Press writers Kristen Gelineau in Sydney and Matthew Pennington in Washington contributed to this report.

Tags:
shared on wplocker.com