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Indonesian Executions: 72-Hour Warning Given To Death Row Inmates

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JAKARTA: Nine of ten mostly foreign prisoners on death row in Indonesia have been given 72 hours notice ahead of their execution, according to a spokesperson for the Attorney General’s office.

“Seventy-two hours notification means three days, at least, to go to the execution. It may be longer. In other words, there will be no execution less than 72 hours after notification,” Tony Spontana told CNN by phone Sunday.

Though Indonesian officials said all 10 would be executed at the same time, Spontana said French national Serge Atlaoui had filed a challenge to the State Administrative Court on Thursday so his sentence has been delayed.

Meanwhile, Edre Olalia, a lawyer acting for Philippines maid Mary Jane Veloso, told CNN Sunday that Veloso had telephoned her sister on Saturday at about 5:30 p.m. local time and said her execution will take place on Tuesday, April 28. Officials at the Philippines Embassy in Jakarta confirmed the same information.

According to her lawyers, Veloso unknowingly carried drugs into Indonesia, and that she was set up by members of a drug syndicate.

On Friday, Indonesian officials advised relevant consular officials to travel to Indonesia’s “execution island” — Nusa Kambangan — where the ten are being held — a sign that the sentences may be carried out soon. They will face a firing squad.

The ten on death row, which also include two Australian citizens Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran — members of the so-called “Bali Nine” smuggling ring — as well as prisoners from Ghana, Brazil, Nigeria and Indonesia, had their petitions for clemency denied by President Joko Widodo in late 2014.

A statement Sunday from Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the Australian government had been notified that the execution of Chan and Sukumaran would be carried out “imminently.”

“I spoke to Mr. Sukumaran’s mother Raji yesterday and assured her the government would continue to seek clemency from Indonesian President Widodo for both men.

“They have been rehabilitated in a most remarkable way over the past ten years and are genuinely remorseful for their serious crimes.

“Nothing can be gained and much will be lost if these two young Australians are executed.

“I again respectfully call on the President of Indonesia to reconsider his refusal to grant clemency. It is not too late for a change of heart.”

The two Australians, convicted for their role in a failed 2005 heroin smuggling plot, tried to challenge the President’s decision earlier this month but lost an appeal for the State Administrative Court to hear their case. Their lawyers have since filed another review at the Constitutional Court. The Attorney General’s office has said they would respect all ongoing court proceedings but insisted the inmates have exhausted all their legal options.

Australia has repeatedly appealed for clemency for the pair and has unsuccessfully proposed a prisoner swap with Indonesia as a way of avoiding their deaths.

On Saturday, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Indonesia’s government to reverse their decision.

“The Secretary-General appeals to the government of Indonesia to refrain from carrying out the execution, as announced, of 10 prisoners on death row for alleged drug-related crimes,” a spokesman for Ban said, according to various reports.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch says 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.”

“Widodo can demonstrate true leadership by ending capital punishment as unacceptable state brutality,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, in a statement Saturday.

“President Widodo should recognize that the death penalty is not a crime deterrent but an unjustifiable and barbaric punishment. Widodo should promote Indonesia as a rights-respecting democracy by joining the countries that have abolished capital punishment.” – CNN

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