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 For that reason, once all the courtesies have been extended to the Chan and Sukumaran families our ambassador will be withdrawn for consultations.”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.