Hours to Indonesia execution: Families hold emotional farewell | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Hours to Indonesia execution: Families hold emotional farewell

Posted: Apr 28, 2015 at 3:46 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Nine drug traffickers held emotional farewell meetings with their families at an Indonesian prison on Tuesday, after Jakarta rejected last-ditch pleas from around the world for clemency and ordered their mass execution to proceed within hours.

“I won’t see him again,” said Raji Sukumaran, the mother of an Australian, who will go before a firing squad along with a fellow countryman and convicts from Nigeria, Brazil, the Philippines and Indonesia.

“They’re going to take him at midnight and shoot him. I’m asking the government not to kill him. Please don’t kill him today,” she told reporters, weeping as she spoke.

Hundreds of people began gathering in cities across Australia for vigils for Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, holding placards and calling for Australia to respond strongly to its neighbour if the executions proceed.

The death penalties have been condemned by the United Nations, and strained ties between Australia and Indonesia.

Security at the high-security prison on an island off the Central Java coast was heightened on Tuesday.

Religious counsellors, doctors and the firing squad were alerted to start final preparations for the execution, and a dozen ambulances, some carrying white satin-covered coffins, were seen arriving.

Amid chaotic scenes outside the jail, a member of one of the Australian’s family collapsed and was carried through the crowd.

“I saw today something that no other family should ever have to go through. Nine families inside a prison saying goodbye to their loved ones,” said Chan’s brother, Michael. “It’s torture