"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Nusa Kambangan: 9 death row prisoners will be executed tonight after midnight, Jakarta time

Indonesian President Joko Widodo
President Widodo
Fairfax Media’s Indonesian correspondent, Jewel Topsfield, has filed a report saying there’s no indication Indonesian President Joko Widodo will make a last minute show of mercy.

It now looks almost certain that death row prisoners imprisoned on Indonesia’s Nusa Kambangan Island will face the firing squad tonight.

They are Rodrigo Gularte, from Brazil; Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, from the Philippines; Martin Anderson (aka Belo), Raheem Agbaje Salami, Sylvester Obiekwe Nwolise and Okwudili Oyatanze, from Nigeria; Zainal Abidin bin Mgs Mahmud Badarudin, from Indonesia; and Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, from Australia.

Here’s what we know:
  • Indonesian Attorney-General H.M. Prasetyo has confirmed that the executions of nine death row inmates on Nusa Kambangan Island, including Australians Chan and Sukumaran and Filipina woman Veloso, will go ahead tonight.
  • Sukumaran’s mother, Raji, told reporters at Cilacap on Tuesday afternoon that her son would be killed “at midnight.” That accords with suggestions from the Indonesian Government, but Prasetyo has refused to name a time.
  • The families of Chan and Sukumaran have made heartfelt pleas to Indonesian President Joko Widodo to spare their loved ones lives and calling for a moratorium on the death penalty, with Michael Chan describing leaving his brother for the last time as “torture”.
  • Christie Buckingham and David Soper, the nominated spiritual counsellors of Sukumaran and Chan, arrived at Nusa Kambangan Island about 8pm local time, along with other spiritual advisors like Romo Carolus, a local priest who is known to attend death row prisoners. Ambulances carrying coffins arrived earlier on Tuesday.
  • Veloso’s execution appears likely to go ahead despite an appeal by Philippine President Benigno Aquino, who said she was a vital witness in a pending drug trafficking trial. Veloso’s lawyers have long maintained she acted as an unknowing mule to drug smugglers when she was arrested with 2kg heroin in 2010 and Maria Cristina Sergio, the woman who allegedly recruited her, reportedly handed herself into Philippine authorities on Tuesday.
  • Laywers for Brazillian man Rodrigo Gularte have filed a last-minute appeal, saying he was denied procedural fairness in his clemency application.
  • French prisoner Serge Areski Atlaoui has been given a temporary reprieve.
  • The European Union and Australian and French governments have issued a joint plea urging President Widodo to “forgive” the death row prisoners and supporting the UN Secretary General’s statement, where he asked Indonesia to “urgently consider declaring a moratorium on the death penalty in Indonesia.”
  • Australian foreign minister, Julie Bishop, has said there would be “consequences” for Indonesia if the executions go ahead, but she said, “I fear that this execution will proceed.”

UPDATE (15:54 GMT): Indonesian attorney-general confirms executions tonight

Indonesia’s attorney-general says the executions of the nine prisoners will take place tonight after midnight, Jakarta time (3am AEST, 6pm BST).

Source: The Guardian, live coverage, April 28, 2015 (15:36 GMT)

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