Indonesia has summoned foreign embassy officials to the prison where nine convicted foreign drug smugglers and one Indonesian are due to be executed, BBC reports. Diplomats confirmed to the BBC that they had been told to go to the island prison of Nusakambangan on Saturday. The request could suggest the executions, which include the two Australia ringleaders of the Bali Nine heroin-smuggling gang, are imminent.
An execution date has not been set – convicts must be given 72 hours notice. The prisoners facing execution include people from Brazil, France, Nigeria and the two Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. The 10th death row prisoner, Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso from the Philippines, was being transferred to Nusakambangan prison on Friday.
“We have been told to be there on Saturday,” an unnamed diplomat told Reuters news agency. “We still don’t know when the actual date of execution will happen but we expect that it will be in days.” Earlier, a spokesman for Indonesia’s attorney general’s office said that prosecutors had been told to begin making their preparations for the executions.
“This order has been issued so that the officials make preparations concerning their role,” said spokesman Tony Spontana, as quoted by AFP. Local media reported that all the prisoners except for the sole Indonesian convict had exhausted their appeals in the Supreme Court, though appeals are continuing for others in lesser courts.
Leonard Arpan, an Indonesian lawyer for the Bali Nine pair, expressed concern over the latest developments. “I am hoping that the Indonesian government will respect the ongoing legal proceedings and not make a decision on executions until these proceedings have finished,” he told the BBC. “We’ve filed the constitutional court challenge for the Bali Nine and we are waiting for a result on the court from that.”
Mr Arpan said he had spoken to the two Australians – who were sentenced to death in 2006 – earlier in the week. “They are in good spirits, they are well. We understand that their families are on their way to Indonesia.” Indonesia has faced heavy criticism from the countries whose nationals are facing execution.
Australia has mounted a strong diplomatic campaign on behalf of Chan and Sukumaran, while their families have argued that they are reformed characters and should be shown mercy. The pair have already had clemency appeals rejected by Indonesian President Joko Widodo earlier this year. Mr Widodo, who took office in 2014, has a policy of denying clemency to drug offenders, saying the drug trade has caused huge damage to Indonesia.