The news no one wanted to hear about Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran

Devastating news for the families of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan came through late yesterday.

The news that so many were dreading finally came.

Bali 9 members Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan are to be executed in the next group of Indonesian prisoners.

It was confirmed yesterday by Indonesian Attorney General HM Prasetyo.

To be executed in the next round.

When asked if the men were on the list he said, “Yes, included in the next round”.

The executions could come any time with the two men given only three days notice before they are killed, shot in the heart by firing squad.

It’s a chilling reality. Two men who have proven time and time again they have reformed themselves facing death after a dreadful choice they made ten years ago.

The executions of the Australians will not take place in the prison they have spent the last ten years, instead they will be taken to the picturesque island of Nusa Kambangan which houses seven prisons.

Nine News travelled to the island and described it as ‘Indonesia’s Alcatraz’.

Nusa Kambangan

On one side of the island a pretty tourist destination, on the other a notorious prison.

The two men will face a harrowing journey to get to the prison in the days leading up to their deaths – a five hour drive, and then an open air ferry ride, their last bitter taste of what it is like to be free.

As the news of the men’s impending fate made its way to the friends and family of the two men it became clear just how many supporters they have, how many people are struggling to come to terms with this incredibly harsh punishment.

Even an Indonesian death metal band made a last ditch plea for clemency calling on Indonesian President Joko Widodo to have a change of heart.

The band, Napalm Death are said to be a favourite of Indonesian President Joko Widodo.


The singer Mark ‘Barney’ Greenway wrote on Facebook:

Dear Mr Widodo,

I am appealing directly to you to please spare the lives of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, the two Australian citizens who are currently awaiting the death sentence in Indonesia for heroin smuggling. As a follower of our band Napalm Death, you would appreciate that our lyrics and ethos challenge the unbroken cycle of violence in the world, whether it comes from a state or as an individual. If these things are not challenged and utlmately changed, I believe we will never truly move forward as humankind.

I understand that you are

standing as a leader determined to change things for the better, and so I believe granting clemency would be a major step forward in this pursuit of betterment. I appreciate that heroin can be damaging on many levels, but I believe that this is a much deeper issue that cannot be changed or altered by simply taking away the lives of people.

Again, I respectfully ask that you make a real difference and overturn these sentences.

In hope and peace

Mark ‘Barney’ Greenway (Napalm Death)

But the Indonesian president has indicated there will be no last minute clemency.

According to The Australian the Indonesian ambassador to Australia, Nadjib Riphat Koesuma told Tony Abbott that there were no more legal avenues to pursue.

“Essentially I have said that legal process which they want to propose is exhausted,” he said

“All the legal actions and efforts by the two people are already exhausted. And then the clemency plea has been rejected by the President.”

In the face of this firm stance though, there are many who are still calling on the President to think again.

A former Indonesian judge has told News Limited that he sees executions as being a violation of the constitution.

“In my opinion the plan to execute drug criminals should be cancelled as it violates the Constitution. The death sentence should be replaced by life sentences,” Judge Laica Marzuki.

Read more: Why Indonesian won’t save the Bali 9.

Judge Marzuki was on a panel who heard a challenge by Chan and Sukumaran against the death penalty in 2007.

No date has been announced for the execution.

While the court ruled six to three that the death penalty was constitutional Mr Marzuki was one of the dissenting judges.

“I am disappointed. I hope the President can consider again that the executions are against our 1945 Constitution. I have a dream that some day the death sentence in Indonesia will be deleted.”

For Father Charlie Burrows, an Irish priest who lives in Indonesia and according to Nine News has counselled many prisoners and their families at the time of execution the most difficult thing is waiting for the deaths sentence to be carried out.

“The president has said they’re all going to be executed. That means none of them have hope anymore. And you can’t live without hope.”

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