Indonesia Gives 72-Hour Execution Notice to Drug Traffickers

By Rod McGuirk 27 April 2015

CANBERRA, Australia — Australian leaders on Monday continued to lobby Indonesia to spare the lives of two Australians on death row despite 10 prisoners being given formal notice that they could die within days.

The Australians Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31, are among 10 drug traffickers facing execution by an Indonesian firing squad.

Authorities had asked the two Australians, the four Nigerian men, a Filipino woman, and one man each from Brazil, France and Indonesia for their last wish as well as giving them 72-hour notice of their executions, a spokesman for the Indonesian attorney general, Tony Spontana, said Sunday.

He said the legal options of nine of them have been exhausted, while Frenchman Serge Atlaoui still has an outstanding legal complaint over the procedure followed in his request for clemency. Spontana said he expects the Supreme Court to rule on it Monday.

The 72-hour notice indicates the executions by firing squad in Besi prison on Nusakambangan Island will be carried out at the earliest on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio on Monday that she is “profoundly dismayed” over the 72-hour notice.

Bishop says she contacted her Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi on Sunday night in a bid to prevent the executions.

“I will continue to do everything possible to advocate for a stay of execution and a reconsideration of the clemency bid of the two men,” Bishop said. “I do not believe it is too late for a change of heart.”

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has also written to Indonesian President Joko Widodo on their behalf.

“This is not in the best interests of Indonesia, let alone the best interests of the young Australians concerned,” Abbott told reporters in France.

Bishop said the Australians had not yet exhausted their legal options. The pair still had an appeal before Indonesia’s Constitutional Court and Indonesia’s Judicial Commission was investigating claims of corruption in the pair’s original trial.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged Widodo on Sunday to “urgently consider declaring a moratorium on capital punishment in Indonesia, with a view toward abolition.”