Australia, supporters of executed convicts express shock and anger

Photo Credit: The Guardian

Eight drug convicts including an Indonesian were put to death by a firing squad early Wednesday at the Nusakambangan prison island; sparking shock and anger from supporters of the convicts.

The execution prompted Australia to announce that its ambassador to Indonesia will be withdrawn.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot said they respect Indonesia’s sovereignty, but deplores what has been done, calling the execution “cruel and unnecessary.”

In a statement, PM Tony Abbot said: “We respect Indonesia’s sovereignty but we do deplore what’s been done and this cannot be simply business as usual. For that reason, once all the courtesies have been extended to the Chan and Sukumaran families our ambassador will be withdrawn for consultations.”

An Australian social media user expressed his anger via Twitter. He said: “Ham-fisted policy from a medieval regime, you will never get a travel cent from me.”

The Brazilian government expressed shock and dismay over the execution of its citizen Rodrigo Gularte who was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Gularte’s execution marked the second execution of a Brazilian in Indonesia in three months despite President Dilma Rousseff’s personal humanitarian appeals. Brazil is evaluating its relationship with Indonesia after its repeated calls for clemency were ignored, says Brazilian interim Foreign Minister Sergio Franca Danese.

Amnesty International (AI) said the executions were utterly reprehensible.

In a statement, AI’s research director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Rupert Abbott said, “The execution of eight people in Indonesia today shows complete disregard for due process and human rights safeguards.”

France reiterated its aversion to death sentence in all cases and all circumstances. French drug convict Serge Atlaoui’s execution was suspended because of his outstanding appeal to review his case.

Meanwhile, it’s a different story for the lone Filipina convict Mary Jane Veloso’s family and supporters. Their mourning had turned into rejoicing after she was granted a temporary reprieve by President Joko Widodo.