Indonesia Sets Executions For 2 'Bali Nine' Drug Smugglers
Updated at 3:40 p.m. ET
Two Australians who were convicted nearly a decade ago of drug smuggling in Indonesia have been informed by authorities that their execution by firing squad is imminent.
"Indonesian authorities today [Saturday] advised Australian consular officials that the executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will be scheduled imminently at Nusa Kambangan prison in central Java," Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in a statement.
It is unclear whether an exact date has been set for Chan and Sukumaran — convicted of being ringleaders of the so-called "Bali Nine" heroin-smuggling ring — as well as Mary Jane Veloso, a Filipina maid who says she was tricked into acting as a "mule" to carry drugs. However, Indonesian law requires that inmates be given 72 hours notice of execution, which could mean they will be put to death as early as Tuesday.
As we reported on Friday, the two Australians are the sole Bali Nine detainees who are facing a firing squad. Other Australians connected to the ring have received lengthy or life prison sentences. Two Nigerians, a Brazilian, a Frenchman and a Ghanaian iand one Indonesian in addition to Veloso are also on death row.
The group is being held on the island of Nusakambangan, known as "death island" because of its high percentage of inmates awaiting execution.
Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she would continue to pressure Jakarta to grant clemency to the Australians, but Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who took office last year, has followed his predecessors in maintaining a zero-tolerance policy for drug smuggling.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports:
"A French man on death row with Chan and Sukumaran won a temporary reprieve from the firing squad but any hope for the nine others has disappeared.
"Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir told Fairfax Media the French Embassy was not among those summoned to discuss the imminent executions because Serge Atlaoui still had a legal case before the Administrative Court."
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