Posted: 27 April, 2015
Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran paid the ultimate price for drug smuggling
Bali 9 ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran have been shot. Source: Getty Images
Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran have been executed on Nusakambangan Island in Java, just before 12:30 am local time (3:30 Wed AEST) after a decade since their arrest.
The chilling executions of eight convicts, including the two Australians, have been carried out- with the Jakarta Post quoting an Attorney General’s Office official that eight of the nine prisoners on death row have been shot dead by the firing squad, “we’ve carried out the executions.”
It was the moment the men's friends and family had agonised over, since the ringleaders of the notorious ‘Bali 9’ convicted smuggling group had been held in Bali’s Kerobokan prison since 2005 and sentenced to death in 2006 for attempting to smuggle eight kilograms of heroin out of the country.
An Indonesian lawyer who acted for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran has just tweeted:
Meanwhile Deborah Clay from TripleM speaks with the men's Australian lawyer Peter Morrissey after they were executed by an Indonesian firing squad:
"When it comes along it hits very hard."
"They were very full of life so it's a sad thing to happen and it will stay sad for a long time."
"Each of them has died well. It's amazing to see how people under extreme pressure like that can have their better nature come forward."
Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso of the Philippines was spared a last-minute reprieve. The family of Mary has been told she is still alive:
Michael Chan, brother of Andrew, has posted this tribute on Twitter:
The Sydney men were marched from their isolated cells in Batu prison, given white clothing to symbolise the afterlife and were led behind the prison to a new purpose-built firing range.
They had a choice to be blindfolded with a piece of fabric before facing the firing squad who will be lined anywhere from five to ten meters in front of them.
Sukumaran refused to wear a blindfold so he could look his executioners in the eye with dignity.
The death row inmates chose whether to stand, sit or kneel before a cross was placed over their hearts acting as a target for the 12 riflemen.
In previous executions, people were strapped to a post. But in the January executions, a new method was devised- of being strapped to a wooden plank.
Wooden posts prepared ahead of the executions. Source: Getty Images
The commander loaded each rifle with one round. Only three of the rounds were live.
Before being killed, the men were given a final chance to calm down for a maximum of three minutes with a spiritual advisor before the riflemen were ordered to shoot at the heart.
After an initial denial of the rights for Chan and Sukumaran to have a religious advisor of their choosing, authorities had agreed that two Australian ministers would be allowed to accompany the men in their final hours.
They did not witness the execution by the firing squad, two Indonesian pastors were appointed to that role.
The commander swished the blade down as a sign for the 12 shooters to begin to fire.
If a doctor determines a prisoner has survived, an officer will fire a single shot to the head with a handgun.
A coffin ordered for one of the bodies. Source: Getty Images
Ambulances will carry the coffins through to Jakarta, to later retun to Australia. Source: Getty Images
Chan and Sukumaran have paid the ultimate price for attempting to smuggle heroin into Australia, an issue that has caused heated debate across the world.
The executions went ahead despite heavy international pressure on Indonesia and President Joko Widodo to grant clemency.
President Joko Widodo said there would be "no amnesty for drug dealers."
After confirmation of the executions earlier in the night, Indonesia’s Attorney General HM Prasetyo said in a statement, “That’s what our laws decided. We say, our courts are open, fair and nothing is closed.”
“We have explained that we’re not against them [personally]. What we fight is the serious crime of drugs.”
“We ask for prayers and support from everyone so that this unpleasant duty can be finished well, without any disturbances.”
Attorney-General HM Prasetyo will make a media statement in Cilacap at 5:30am (8:30 AEST))
The families of the Bali Nine pair said their emotional final goodbyes yesterday afternoon, struggling to get through the frenzy of intense media scrutiny.
Brintha Sukumaran, a sister of Australian death row prisoner Myuran Sukumaran. Source: Getty Images
Here's a look back at what lead the duo down this dangerous drug smuggling path.
Who were these two men?
Andrew Chan was born in 1984 and grew up in Enfield, Sydney’s southwest, born to Chinese migrants before he dabbled in drugs and later became one of the ringleaders behind a plan to smuggle heroin from Indonesia to Australia.
Until dropping out in Year 10, he attended Homebush Boys High School where Myuran Sukumaran also went, but the pair didn’t meet until 2002 through a mutual friend.
At the time of his arrest, Chan was working at catering company Eurest and admitted in an interview he didn’t think he was going anywhere in life.
It was while working at Eurest Chan met Renae Lawrence, Martin Stephens and Matthew Norman, members of the infamous Bali Nine.
Lawrence reportedly claimed Chan forced her to become a drug mule and threatened her and her family and if she refused.
Chan, an atheist before his 2005 arrest, has since turned to Christianity to help him cope in jail.
After taking a course in theology, Chan ran the English language church service at Bali’s Kerobokan jail.
On Monday afternoon he married girlfriend Febyanti Herewila in Besi prison.
He proposed to Febyanti ‘Feby’ after Indonesian President Joko Widodo rejected his plea for clemency in February.
Myuran Sukumaran was born in London in 1981, his Sri Lankan family moved to Australia in 1985.
He grew up in Auburn, Sydney’s west, and was four grades above Chan at Homebush Boys High School.
Sukumaran started but dropped out of uni, took a job at a mailroom, and later the passport office in Sydney.
He, like Chan felt he wasn’t doing much with his life, and was introduced to partying and drugs.
Soon, the temptation of making some quick cash was too good to refuse.
At the time of his arrest on his 24th birthday, Indonesian police thought Sukumaran was Chan’s bodyguard as they were always together.
During his time in prison, Sukumaran became an avid painter and commenced a fine arts degree via correspondence with Curtin University.
The latest in a series of death row paintings, a human heart by Myuran Sukumaran has been signed by all eight executed prisoners and inscribed "Satu hati satu rasa didalam cinta - (one heart, one feeling in love)". Source: Getty Images
Both men were widely recognised for turning their lives around and for their positive contribution to the lives of fellow inmates at Kerobokan Prison.