Despite negotiations and multiple pleas for mercy, convicted Australian drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran have been executed by firing squad.
Chan, 31 and Sukumaran, 34 were killed along with six others on Indonesia’s Nusakambangan Island at around 12.35am this morning, with reports claiming it took 27 minutes for all prisoners to be pronounced dead.
Many gathered in prayer on the mainland, while a marquee for the family and friends of the prisoners was set up near the execution site. In what can only be described as heart-breaking, it has been reported that some of the gun shots fired could be heard from the tent.
The 31 and 34-year-old’s families have since released a joint statement saying: “Today we lost Myuran and Andrew. Our sons, our brothers. In the ten years since they were arrested, they did all they could to make amends, helping many others. They asked for mercy, but there was none. They were immensely grateful for all the support they received. We too, will be forever grateful.”
The families of the Bali 9 duo aren’t the only ones angered by the Indonesian Government’s lack of morality. In a press conference Australian Prime Minister Toni Abbott and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop addressed the “cruel and unnecessary” executions and revealed that Australia will now withdraw its ambassador to Indonesia, Paul Grigson, as a result.
“We respect Indonesia’s sovereignty but we do deplore what’s been done and this cannot be simply business as usual. For that reason, once all the courtesies have been extended to the Chan and Sukumaran families our ambassador will be withdrawn for consultations.”
“I want to stress that this is a very important relationship between Australia and Indonesia,” Abott continued, “but it has suffered as a result of what’s been done over the last few hours.”
Julie Bishop later went on to explain: “The withdrawal of an ambassador is to register our displeasure at the way our citizens have been treated,” and further pointed out that it was “senseless” to execute the two men after rehabilitating themselves during a decade in prison.
There has been an out-pour of both anger and support for the two men’s family via social media and news sites around the world have expressed their disapproval, also. And while everyone involved did everything they could to keep Chan and Sukumaran from death-row, Todung Mulya Lubis – one of the Australian men’s lawyers – took to Twitter to grieve: “I failed. I lost.”
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends involved.
When John Hardy, a former art student and a radical environmentalist from Canada, set foot in Bali in the 1970s, he was instantly captivated and inspired by the natural beauty of the Indonesian isle. Bali was and still is a welcoming place for artists with a rich culture and a beautiful landscape to provide infinite sources of inspiration.
By chance, he encountered local artisans who produced handcrafted pieces using the jewellery-making techniques honed by their ancestors. The Balinese have a rich history of dedication to the art of making jewellery, brought to the island by the Majapahit Empire 700 years ago.
John began to study ancient jewellery artisanship and to work with the local descendants of goldsmiths, who once made beautiful creations for Balinese royalty. By infusing their ancient techniques with modern ingenuity, the John Hardy brand was born in 1975, offering collectors statement pieces that are unique works of art.
An avid environmentalist, his lifestyle of harmony with the natural world became an inspiration for the brand foundation. The brand’s Bali compound is built with local, low-impact natural materials, including bamboo, adobe and thatch. At its heart is the design studio, housed in a restored Balinese community hall with an antique timber structure with a natural grass roof. Nearby is the showroom, a bamboo cathedral thatched with alang alang.
When head designer and creative director Guy Bedarida joined the company in 1990s, he brought with him skills and aesthetics developed while working with some of Europe’s high-end jewellery brands. The CEO Damien Dernoncourt and Guy together elevated the brand’s sustainable philosophy by applying new sustainable practices, like using 100 per cent reclaimed silver and planting bamboo seedlings in Bali to offset the company’s carbon emissions. To date, the brand has planted 900,000 bamboos throughout the island of Bali, the noble grass helping to sustain the lifestyle of the locals as well as protecting the environment in a variety of ways including aiding the soil’s natural water retention.
Today, John Hardy is the embodiment of ‘sustainable luxury’, preserving ancient jewellery-making techniques, which would otherwise be lost, while ensuring its business operations are environmentally conscious at all levels.