Bali Nine Execution: Indonesian Bullets Tear Apart Chan and Sukumaran, Spare Mary Jane Veloso

By @snksounak on
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IN PHOTO: Candles are placed in support of Australian convicted drug traffickers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran during a vigil in Sydney, Australia, April 28, 2015. Nine drug traffickers met their families for what could be the final time at an Indonesian maximum security prison on Tuesday, after Jakarta rejected international pleas for clemency and ordered their mass execution to proceed, possibly within hours. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Indonesia executed eight Bali Nine drug convicts at 3:35 a.m. AEST on April 29. Australian drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were shot dead after people all over the world had made protests and clemency appeals for them for months.

Indonesia carried out the execution at 12.35 a.m. local time on Nusakambangan Island. However, it apparently took 27 minutes for the convicts to die after they had been shot. According to a spokesman for the Attorney-General Tony Spontana, the convicts were shot at 00:35, but they died at 01:02.

According to another source, the Bali Nine prisoners were shot in the heart. While it was necessary for the commander to shoot in the head if any convict didn’t die after 10 minutes, it was not required to do so as they all died.

All the prisoners apparently wanted to look at the executioner in the eye while they were shot as all of them had refused to be blindfolded. The convicts started singing hymns while bullets started tearing their hearts apart one by one. According to Father Charles Burrows, one of the witnesses of the execution, every prisoner was looking forward as if everyone accepted their fate.

Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, the ninth convict among the Bali Nine prisoners who had been scheduled to be executed, was spared at the last moment. According to Attorney-General spokesman Tony Spontana, the execution was postponed as Veloso would give testimony against the human trafficking suspect who had earlier surrendered herself in the Philippines.

Australia, meanwhile, reacted strongly after the execution. It has called its ambassador back from Indonesia. Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that the executions were “unnecessary” as both Chan and Sukumaran had been “fully rehabilitated.”

"We respect Indonesia's sovereignty but we do deplore what's been done and this cannot be simply business as usual,” Abbott said, “For that reason, once all the courtesies have been extended to the Chan and Sukumaran families, our ambassador will be withdrawn for consultations.” Abbott added that the relationship between the two countries would suffer because of the execution.

Indonesia also executed Zainal Abidin bin Mgs Mahmud Badarudin (Indonesia), Martin Anderson (Ghana), Raheem Agbaje Salami, Sylvester Obiekwe Nwolise, Okwudili Oyatanze (Nigeria) and Rodrigo Gularte (Brazil). However, Frenchman Serge Areski Atlaoui was spared because of his on-going appeal.

Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@ibtimes.com.au

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