‘No good will come’ from Bali Nine deaths

The execution of Bali nine prisoners Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will bring no good or benefit to the Indonesian community, a clemency advocate says.


The Australians were moved under heavy guard from Kerobokan prison at 5.18am local time on Wednesday, bound for Bali airport. They will fly to Cilacap in central Java and then be moved to Nusakambangan Island, where they will be shot by firing squad.

Mercy Campaign co-founder Matthew Goldberg says the images of the men being moved from Kerobokan are distressing, but while acknowledging that time is running out, he still holds out hope that Indonesian President Joko Widodo will spare them.

“It is still within President Widodo’s jurisdiction to exercise his discretion, to acknowledge circumstances of their claim and to grant them clemency. That can still occur,” he said on Wednesday morning.

“It’s a terribly retrograde step to see them moved from the prison where they’ve spent years developing, working themselves quietly at reform and spending their time otherwise assisting others in their rehabilitation.”

Mr Goldberg says the executions will do nothing to counter problems in Indonesia associated with the drugs trade.

“We know that no good can come of their execution for anyone,” he said.

“No benefit to the community, there will be no better protection for people exposed to the use or trade of drugs. There is no benefit.”

The Australian government had not yet been officially informed of the transfer of the men.

Speaking in Canberra before the pair were moved out of prison, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he also had not given up hope they could be spared.

“Even at the 11th hour I hope there might be a change of heart in Indonesia and these executions might be stopped,” he said.

“I just want everyone to know the Australian government will never rest in our determination to let Indonesia know that we oppose the death penalty, we oppose drug crime.”

He said Australians were “revolted” by the imminent executions.

Chan and Sukumaran were sentenced in 2006 for their parts in a plot to smuggle 8.3kg of heroin from Bali to Australia.

They are expected to be executed with eight others convicted drug traffickers, one of whom is Indonesian.