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Anger over Indonesia executions

Posted by Warren Fyfe on April 29, 2015 in Warren Fyfe Site

Australia has recalled its ambassador from Indonesia after two Australian men were executed for drug smuggling.

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were among eight people from several countries executed by firing squad shortly after midnight on Wednesday on the prison island of Nusakambangan.

Brazil’s government also expressed its “deep dismay” at the execution of one of its citizens, Rodrigo Gularte.

But the execution of a Filipina woman was postponed at the last minute.

Australia had mounted a lengthy diplomatic campaign to save Chan and Sukumaran, convicted in 2006 of being the ringleaders of a group of Australian heroin traffickers known as the Bali Nine.

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran in court in 2006

Andrew Chan (left) and Myuran Sukumaran were sentenced to death in 2006

A self-portrait drawn by Sukumaran after visiting the prison island of Nusakambangan

Australia said Sukumaran and Chan were reformed characters – Sukumaran painted while in prison, creating this self portrait

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said it “cannot be simply business as usual” with Indonesia, a close ally.

“These executions are both cruel and unnecessary,” he added, saying Chan and Sukumaran had been “fully rehabilitated” while in prison.

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An ambulance carries the body of one of the eight death-row prisoners as it drive out from Nusakambangan Island prison in Cilacap, Indonesia, 29 April 2015

Coffins of the eight have been taken from the prison

Who were the executed prisoners?

  • Australians Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan
  • Ghanaian Martin Anderson
  • Indonesian Zainal Abidin bin Mgs Mahmud Badarudin
  • Nigerians Raheem Agbaje Salami, Sylvester Obiekwe Nwolise, Okwudili Oyatanze
  • Brazilian Rodrigo Gularte
  • Frenchman Serge Areski Atlaoui and Filipina Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso were spared as they have ongoing appeals

Indonesia’s president takes a hard line on drugs

Jon Donnison: Double standards over Bali Nine

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Before their executions, the families of those condemned paid them final, emotional visits.

Afterwards, Brazil’s government issued a statement saying the execution was “a grave event” in its relationship with Indonesia.

The statement said Indonesia “had not been sensitive to President [Dilma] Rousseff’s humanitarian plea”.

Gularte’s family had said he had schizophrenia and should not have been on death row.

In January, Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira was also executed in Indonesia for drug smuggling, becoming the first Brazilian national to have a death sentence carried out in a foreign country.

A Frenchman also convicted of drug offences, Serge Areski Atlaoui, was originally due to be executed with the group but has an appeal outstanding.

Protest at the Indonesian embassy in Manila, Philippines (28 April 2015)
Relatives of Mary Jane Veloso celebrate her last-minute reprieve at Cilacap, Indonesia (29 April 2015)

Veloso’s family celebrated the news of her reprieve in Cilacap, close to the prison

There was delight for the family of Philippine woman Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, after her execution was called off at the last minute following a request by the Philippine president.

Veloso will be allowed to testify as a witness in the trial of a woman suspected of planting heroin on her, who surrendered to police on Tuesday.

Veloso’s mother described the last minute reprieve as a “miracle”.

“We are so happy, I can’t believe it. I can’t believe my child will live,” Celia Veloso told Philippine radio station DZMM.

Indonesia has some of the toughest drug laws in the world and ended a four-year moratorium on executions in 2013.

It says it takes a hard line because of the country’s own drugs problem – 33 Indonesians die every day as a result of drugs, according to Indonesia’s National Narcotics Agency.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-32508722#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

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