Fifty-Eight People Linger on Death Row in Indonesia

Australians Myuran Sukumaran (left) and Andrew Chan are on death row in Bali.


Fifty-eight people convicted and sentenced to death in drugs cases are awaiting execution in Indonesian prisons, an official has revealed.

National Narcotics Agency chief Gories Mere said many of those on death row were engaged in last-ditch legal wrangling in a desperate attempt to avoid being killed.

“The executions have not yet been carried out, because the prisoners still seek ways to prevent the implementation by applying for pardons or judicial reviews through the Supreme Court,” Mere said in Denpasar, where he was attending the Bali Arts Festival.

Mere declined to reveal the nationaities of the 58 death-row inmates.

Several foreigners at Bali’s Kerobokan Prison are among those on death row, including two Australians from the so-called Bali Nine group of drug smugglers, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan.

Both men have lost final appeals to the Supreme Court in Jakarta. Chan filed a plea for presidential clemency in May and Sukumaran is expected to do the same later this year. If those pleas are rejected, they will have no further route to avoid execution.

Sukumaran and Chan were sentenced to death for their leading roles in an attempt in 2005 to smuggle 8.3 kilos of heroin, bound to their bodies, from Bali to Australia.

The men are hoping that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will show them mercy after last month granting clemency to fellow drug-running Australian Schapelle Corby when he cut her 20-year term by five years.

Executions are carried out by firing squad in Indonesia, usually at a remote location such as a deserted beach or forest, in the early hours of the morning.

Meanwhile, Mere said that around 250 Indonesians have been jailed abroad — in China, Malaysia and European countries — for their involvement in drugs.

He said there had been an increase in the number of cases in Indonesia involving illegal drugs, especially meth smuggling and related crimes.

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5 Responses to “Fifty-Eight People Linger on Death Row in Indonesia”

  1. Kay Danes Says:

    I do not condone drug trafficking in any way but on occassion you will see the Indonesian policy of rehabilitation work and I think it has made an incredible difference to the lives of these two men. They have been sincere in their confessions and have shown remorse but more importantly, they continue to do intense work in the prison to assist educating and rehabilitating other prisoners. I must admit that in the beginning, I was skeptical as to their intentions but over the years, they have been consistent. Weekly visits to the prison by contacts we have there, witness that these two men have made remarkable transformations. Credit must be given to them for that, and to the Indonesian authorities for the success of their rehabilitation programs! These two Australians are genuine and do not seek to lay blame elsewhere. They have taken full responsibility for their actions. Having contact with them both, I know that they deeply regret their past choices. I do hope their case can be judged in isolation to other cases as would be consistent with Indonesian law.

  2. Kerobokan Volunteer Says:

    I humbly ask the President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to consider clemency for Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan based on who they have become over the past few years and to take into consideration, not just their terrible crime but also the contribution they make at Kerobokan Jail. Myuran and Andrew actively counsel against drug taking encouraging users to join the Methadone withdrawal program available at the Jail. Myuran is responsible for a huge number of rehabilitative programs at the jail for drug free inmates of all nationalities. These include, art and drawing, philosophy, silver smithing, agricultural husbandry, hair styling,computer graphics skills, sewing, the list is endless and it didn’t just happen now. He has been doing this for years in an attempt to make up for his misdeeds; to provide inmates with skills to go back into the workplace and to motivate them to stay off drugs. I know… I am in there every week for 2 years now. He does not just “talk the talk” … he “walks the walk”. Andrew Chan holds daily services at the Christian chapel and has been for years, counselling and warning against the scourge of drugs.Killing them will not stop drugtaking. Keeping them alive will! The president showed mercy and flexibilty for Corby based on humanitarian grounds because of her mental instability. I hope and pray that he will show the same courage and grant clemency for these 2 boys who have admitted their guilt, and shown remorse by their actions not their words; who contribute to the well being and hopes of other inmates and have been doing so now for many years.Let them continue to make amends Mr President. Take advantage of the success of the Indonesian Prison system in rehabilitating its inmates.

  3. Baz Says:

    If it was me in their position I too would be doing all the things that they do and keep it up for all this time because

    A) I would do anything to avoid execution at all costs

    B) Running art classes, computer classes etc would keep me occupied and entertained and make life in jail easier to bear.

    It is a pity that people who support these two and others like them do not put their efforts elsewhere such as helping the poor souls who have become addicted to the filth that these scum are responsible peddaling to society or helping comfort and support to the families of addicts who have died.

    Yes they may have reformed in jail (but I feel that is more out of concern for their own well being than that of others) but should they bwe spared? If so where should we draw the line? Would the supporters of these two scumbags be so vocal if they were a pair of paedophiles responsible for the brutal rape and murder of young children? If not why not? After all they are “Reformed”

    Let justice run it’s course I say

  4. Aussie Expat in Bali Says:

    What makes you think that people who volunteer at the jail don’t assist with other humanitarian endeavours… you make assumptions Baz. Our social welfare work is not limited to the jail. .. and you wrongly assume again as to the motivation of these young men to reform. If we do not recognise and respond to people who genuinely rehabilitate themselves and try to make amends for their crimes then what is the point of society attempting rehabilitate anyone? You judge so easily without actually knowing them. You take the easy way out by comparison to abhorrent crimes that are perhaps also psychological illnesses. The reality is there are many in society, some caught and in jail, some still out in society that do terrible things. That we can rehabilitate even one of them is to be applauded. Soften your heart Baz…

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