Ambulances Reach Indonesia Prison —Hauling Coffins

Executions of 9 inmates loom, despite international pressure
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 28, 2015 7:56 AM CDT
Ambulances Reach Indonesia Prison —Hauling Coffins
Angelita Muxfeldt, center, a cousin of Rodrigo Gularte, a Brazilian national on death row for smuggling drugs into Indonesia, speaks to the media in Central Java, Indonesia, Tuesday, April 28, 2015.   (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)

The pleas for mercy weren't enough, apparently. Despite uproar from several foreign governments, Indonesia is readying for the executions of eight foreigners and one local man convicted of drug trafficking. A dozen ambulances—nine of which were carrying coffins—boarded a ferry to Besi prison on Nusakambangan Island today, while inmates' family members made what are now considered last visits, the AP reports. One relative described the goodbye as "torture," while another collapsed in agony, reports the BBC. Though it was believed Frenchman Serge Atlaoui would be executed, Indonesia's AG says an outstanding appeal will save his life for now. It isn't clear when the executions will occur, but protocol suggests the inmates could be shot by a firing squad just after midnight local time.

Some in Australia, including actor Guy Pearce, have criticized Prime Minister Tony Abbott for failing to visit Indonesia and bring home its two nationals, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, who were caught trying to smuggle heroin out of the country in 2005. Chan married his Indonesian Christian pastor yesterday. "Clearly if traveling to Indonesia would make a difference, we would have gone there," Australia's foreign minister says, adding "while they are still alive, there is still hope." The BBC reports Indonesia indicated it would not stay the two inmates' executions despite a corruption investigation into the case. Meanwhile, a friend of Sukumaran says the inmate will choose not to be blindfolded before 12 gunmen, three of whom will have live rounds, reports the Guardian. "Myuran always said to me that he would never take this lying down; that he would stare them down, that no one would cover his eyes, that he would face it with dignity." (Read more Indonesia stories.)

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