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Australia recalls convoy to Indonesia over execution of nationals

29 April 2015 10:32


Australia recalls convoy to Indonesia over execution of nationals

Australia has recalled its ambassador to Indonesia following the execution of two of its nationals in the Southeast Asian country.

A firing squad at the Indonesian prison island of Nusakambangan executed seven foreign convicts along with an Indonesian early on Wednesday, despite repeated pleas from the foreigners’ respective governments as well as families not to go ahead with the decision.

The foreign convicts included Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran; four Nigerians, namely Raheem Salami, Silvester Obiekwe Nwolise, Okwudil Oyatanze and Martin Anderson; a Brazilian, Rodrigo Gularte. Indonesian Zainal Abidin was also executed along with the others.

They had all been sentenced to death for drug-related crimes.

Brazil also expressed “deep dismay” at the execution of its citizen.

Two other foreigners, Filipino Mary Jane Veloso and Frenchman Serge Atlaou, have also been convicted and sentenced to death over drug crimes but have been spared for the time being.

Previously, the Indonesian government had announced that it planned to execute the foreign convicts, referred to in media as members of the “Bali Nine.”

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott had called on the Indonesian government to pardon convicted Australian citizens

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he respected Indonesia’s sovereignty but “we do deplore what’s been done and this cannot be simply business as usual.”

Chan and Sukumaran were the ringleaders of the so-called “Bali Nine” drug traffickers.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo had dismissed criticism against the death sentences for the drug traffickers, saying Indonesia is in a state of “national emergency” due to the soaring use of drugs.

According to the Indonesian president, there are 4.5 million drug abusers in the country with 40 to 50 young people dying from drug abuse each day.

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