Indonesia has officially notified nine affiliated with the so-called “Bali Nine” drug trafficking ring, including eight foreigners, that they will be executed within days following weeks of delay, but a Frenchman was granted a temporary reprieve after Paris stepped up pressure on Jakarta.
The nine – from Australia, Nigeria, Brazil, Ghana, the Philippines, and Indonesia – have been transported to the high-security prison island of Nusakambangan, where they are set to face a firing squad, despite mounting international criticism.
“Today, just now, we just finished notifying every convict, nine people except for Serge,” a spokesman for the attorney-general’s office, Tony Spontana, told the AFP news agency, adding it would be at least three days until the sentences are carried out.
Officials said earlier that Frenchman Serge Atlaoui, who was expected to be among the group being put to death, will not be included in the forthcoming batch as he still has an outstanding legal appeal.
Spontana did not give a date for the executions but a lawyer for Filipina Mary Jane Veloso said she had been informed she would be put to death on Tuesday.
Minnie Lopez, a lawyer for Veloso, told AFP: “We were informed by Mary Jane herself that she received the notice that the sentence will be implemented on April 28.”
The news that the execution procedure is under way, after weeks of delays, came after Indonesian officials met diplomats Saturday in a town near Nusakambangan. The consular officials then travelled to the island to visit inmates.
The foreign drug convicts have all lost appeals for clemency from President Joko Widodo, who argues that Indonesia is fighting a drugs emergency.
The Australian government said it had been informed that the execution of its citizens, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, who were reportedly leaders of the drug trafficking ring, was “imminent”.
“Nothing can be gained and much will be lost if these two young Australians are executed,” said Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
“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.”