Bali nine: Ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran and others executed by firing squad

April 28, 2015 6:24 pm

Australian drug traffickers Myuran Sukumaran, left, and Andrew Chan during their trial in Bali, Indonesia. Photo / AP

Bali Nine ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran have been
executed by firing squad, despite frantic appeals from families and
Australian officials to spare the pair.
The Jakarta Post, quoting
an Attorney General’s Office official, says eight of the nine prisoners
on death row have been shot dead in Indonesia.
Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso of the Philippines was spared.
Earlier
ambulances carrying coffins arrived at a prison island and relatives
paid final visits to their condemned loved ones as Indonesia announced
it will execute eight foreigners and one Indonesian man on drug charges,
despite an international outcry and pleas for mercy.
The nine
inmates were given 72-hour notices over the weekend that they would be
executed by a firing squad, prompting a flurry of last-minute lobbying
by foreign leaders. The United Nations has argued that their crimes ”
possession of heroin, marijuana or cocaine ” are not egregious enough to
warrant the ultimate punishment.

Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo announced the executions
would take place after midnight. The relatives were allowed to visit
with the inmates until 8 p.m., said Tony Spontana, Prasetyo’s spokesman.
“All the officials, prosecutors, firing squads and ambulances are in place,” he told reporters.

Indonesia executed 8 of the 9 people convicted
for drug offenses. The men all pictured above were taken to a jungle
clearing on the island Nusakambangan according to local media reports
and were executed at midnight Indonesia time by 12 police privates (that
would be about 6pm Nigerian time). The only woman amongst them, Mary
Jane Fiesta Veloso, was spared last minute after new information emerged
about her case. A woman who reportedly tricked her into carrying drugs
turned herself in earlier today. The bodies of the men will be taken by
road to Jakarta later today

Australian Consul-General in Bali Majell Hind, centre left, assists Helen Chan, centre right, the mother Australian Andrew Chan on death row. Photo / AP
Australian Consul-General in Bali Majell
Hind, centre left, assists Helen Chan, centre right, the mother
Australian Andrew Chan on death row. Photo / AP
The families of Australians Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31 visited Besi prison on Nusakambangan island.
Sukumaran’s
sister, Brintha, wailed in agony and had to be carried through a crowd
of media waiting at the ferry port to the island.
Chan received a
visit from Febyanti Herewila, an Indonesian Christian pastor who became
his wife in a marriage ceremony on the island on Monday.
A dozen
ambulances, nine carrying coffins, were driven onto the ferry to
Nusakambangan. On the dashboard of one ambulance was a piece of paper
bearing the name of Mary Jane Veloso, a Filipino woman who was among
those scheduled to die.
Over the weekend, authorities asked the
nine inmates the two Australians and Veloso, as well as four Nigerian
men and one man each from Brazil and Indonesia ” for their last wishes
and gave them a 72-hour notice of their executions.
On Tuesday,
’s foreign minister defended Prime Minister Tony Abbott against
online criticism that he had not done enough to save the lives of
Sukumaran and Chan.
Australian actors including Geoffrey Rush,
Guy Pearce, Joel Edgerton and Bryan Brown have launched an online video
calling for Indonesia to show mercy to the two men.
“Tony, if you
have any courage and compassion, you’d get over to Indonesia and bring
these two boys home,” actor Brendan Cowell said of the prime minister.
But
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the Australian government was acting
on advice from Australian diplomats in Jakarta who were part of a
sustained campaign seeking a stay of execution.
“Clearly if traveling to Indonesia would make a difference, we would have gone there,” Bishop told Nine Network television.
Abbott
has spoken to Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo several times
on the issue, most recently in Singapore in late March at the funeral of
Lee Kuan Yew, the city-state’s first prime minister, Bishop said.
“While they are still alive, there is still hope and I will continue to advocate all throughout today,” Bishop said.
Prasetyo
said Monday that another convict, Frenchman Serge Atlaoui, would not be
executed with the others because he still has an outstanding legal
complaint over the rejection of his clemency appeal.
Prasetyo
said Atlaoui would later face a firing squad alone if his complaint is
turned down by the Administrative Court. Similar appeals by Sukumaran
and Chan were rejected by the Administrative Court and the High
Administrative Court, with both ruling that clemency is the prerogative
of the president.
The head of ’s human rights watchdog on
Tuesday urged Indonesia not to carry out the executions. The
France-based Council of Europe holds its 47 member countries accountable
to the European Convention on Human Rights, which opposes the death
penalty.
“The death penalty is a terrible injustice which can
never be put right,” Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn
Jagland said in a statement. He urged Indonesia to refrain from the
executions and “then to consider introducing a moratorium on the death
penalty with a view to working towards abolition.”
Philippine
President Benigno Aquino III appealed to Jokowi on Monday to spare the
life of Veloso, the Filipino drug convict, in a meeting on the sidelines
of an annual summit of Southeast Asian leaders in Malaysia. He told
reporters that he suggested to Jokowi that keeping Veloso alive would
enable her to testify about those involved in the drug syndicate.
In Manila, hundreds of activists and supporters of Veloso continued a vigil outside the Indonesian Embassy.
Filipino boxing champion Manny Pacquiao also appealed to Jokowi to spare Veloso’s life.
“I
am begging and knocking at your kind heart that your excellency will
grant executive clemency to her by sparing her life and saving her from
execution,” Pacquiao said in a live interview from Los Angeles with
Philippine network GMA .
Veloso’s two sons and her mother were seen arriving at the prison for a final visit.

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