Eight Men, Including Two of 'Bali 9,' Reportedly Executed in Indonesia
Appeals for drug convicts were denied, but one member of the group reportedly received a last-minute reprieve
According to Indonesian media, eight men, including two of the Bali 9, have been executed. One of the prisoners set to be executed, Mary Jane Veloso, has reportedly received a reprieve. The Guardian is providing live updates.
The Indonesian government is on the verge of executing nine death row drug convicts, including eight foreigners and two members of the so-called 'Bali 9,' after rejecting their 11th-hour clemency pleas ahead of what is being called the country's largest mass execution in decades.
Friends and relatives of prisoners convicted of trying to smuggle heroin and cocaine out of Bali in 2005 held farewell meetings with the inmates on Tuesday on the prison island of Nusa Kambangan, situated off the coast of Java.
The Bali 9 pair are Australians Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, who officials say were the ringleaders of the operation. Also scheduled to be executed tonight are Martin Anderson, Raheem Agbaje Salami, and Silvester Obiekwe Nwolise of Nigeria; Rodrigo Gularte of Brazil; and Mary Jane Veloso of the Philippines.
They are to be tied to posts and killed by a firing squad within hours, shortly after midnight Jakarta time.
Another death row prisoner, Serge Atlaoui of France, was given a last-minute, two-week reprieve pending another review of his case. Legal and humanitarian appeals for the others have been exhausted, according to Human Rights Watch.
"I won't see my son again and they are going to take him tonight and shoot him and he is healthy and he is beautiful and he has a lot of compassion for other people," Raji Sukumaran said, according to Australia's ABC news agency. "I am asking the government not to kill him, please president, please don't kill him today."
International human rights organizations have slammed the death penalty as too harsh a penalty for drug crimes and are calling on Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who took office last year in a hotly contested election, to commute the sentences and end capital punishment altogether.
"President Widodo has an important opportunity to signal Indonesia’s rejection of the death penalty by sparing the lives of the 10 people facing looming execution," said Human Rights Watch deputy Asia director Phelim Kine last week. "Widodo can demonstrate true leadership by ending capital punishment as unacceptable state brutality."
The case has also drawn protests around the world, which have called attention to mitigating circumstances in many of the prisoners' cases—including Gularte's mental illnesses and charges that Veloso, a mother of two, was pushed into drug smuggling by a human trafficker.
A dispatch from Gularte's home country of Brazil reads:
Rodrigo Gularte, who has twice been diagnosed with schizophrenia, is set to be the second Brazilian to be shot by firing squad in Indonesia this year.
The Brazilian foreign ministry has declared the death sentence "unacceptable" and "contrary to the common sense and basic standards of human rights protection" in a letter sent on Monday to the government in Jakarta.
The Guardian is providing live updates on the events.