′Bali Nine′ families arrive in Indonesia ahead of executions | News | DW | 28.04.2015
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'Bali Nine' families arrive in Indonesia ahead of executions

Families of the "Bali Nine" have arrived at an Indonesian prison prior to their relatives' scheduled execution by firing squad. Among the convicted drug smugglers are eight foreigners and one Indonesian.

The members of the heroin trafficking group were notified of their execution on Saturday, prompting a renewed wave of international outcry and pleas for mercy.

The United Nations (UN) has argued that the inmates' crimes are not egregious enough to warrant the ultimate punishment.

Tony Spontana, spokesman for the Attorney General's Office, said on Tuesday, however, that the nine drug convicts have no more legal avenues to delay their execution.

Families of the death row inmates had until 8 p.m. local time (1300 UTC) to say their final goodbyes after Jakarta rejected international pleas for clemency and ordered their executions to proceed.

As police attempted to shield the convicts' relatives on Tuesday screams of "Mercy!" were heard from some family members.

Ambulances carrying white coffins were also driven onto the ferry to Nusakambangan Island where the convicts are being held.

Criticism of Australian prime minister

Among the convicted are two Australians: 33-year-old Myuran Sukumaran and 31-year-old Andrew Chan, both of whom were arrested in 2005. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot has faced a huge backlash in recent weeks, with many criticizing him and complaining that not enough had been done to save their lives.

"Tony, if you have any courage and compassion, you'd get over to Indonesia and bring these two boys home," actor Brendan Cowell said in a video addressed to the prime minister.

The country's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop - who previously urged Indonesia to delay the executions of the Australian nationals until a corruption investigation into their case was complete - defended Abbott on Tuesday, however. She said the Australian prime minister was acting on advice from Australian diplomats in Jakarta.

"Clearly if traveling to Indonesia would make a difference, we would have gone there," she told Nine Network television.

The executions on Tuesday are expected to take place shortly after midnight local time (1700 UTC).

ksb/rc (Reuters, AP, AFP)

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