Sending Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran for execution while they have an appeal before the courts would jeopardise Indonesia’s international reputation as a law-respecting democracy, their lawyer warns.
Bali authorities are ready to transfer the Bali Nine pair to Nusakambangan this week, for their execution with eight other drug offenders.
Barrister Julian McMahon said an appeal was being lodged on Monday against the administrative court’s decision not to examine the men’s clemency rejection.
The lawyers did not question the sovereignty of Indonesia or seek to undermine its legal system, Mr McMahon said.
They just wanted a chance to have the facts of Chan and Sukumaran’s cases for clemency – including their successful rehabilitation – heard in a court.
It would be “shocking” if they were moved to Nusakambangan in the process of an appeal.
“It’s unthinkable that people who are having their right to life litigated in a court could at the same time be taken away from that court by powerful people, by the executive, and simply executed,” he told reporters in Bali.
It could also disadvantage Indonesia in international law co-operation on drugs, he argued.
“To me it would be impossible to imagine that Indonesia would jeopardise its good name and respect for the rule of law by taking away prisoners who, like my own clients, are fighting for their rights in the court system and having them executed in a way which internationally would be condemned as a breach of the rule of law,” Mr McMahon said.
But Indonesia’s president has repeated his conviction that executing drug offenders was important for the country’s sovereignty.
Students from a Central Java school linked to the military visited the presidential palace in Jakarta on Monday, where Joko Widodo warned them of the dangers of drugs.
“Be careful, right now there are 50 people from our generation who die each day because of drugs,” he said, as quoted by news website detik深圳桑拿,.
“That’s why we have to be strict. Do you all agree that drug dealers must be executed?”
The students replied in unison: “Agree!”
Mr Joko told reporters: “don’t let anyone try to intervene in our sovereign law. About the executions of drug offenders, this is our sovereign law.”
In Bali, chief prosecutor Momock Bambang Samiarso met authorities to discuss plans to move the Bali Nine pair out of Kerobokan jail within days.
“It’s confirmed, this week,” he told reporters.
“(Nusakambangan) is all ready.”
But the Attorney-General HM Prasetyo, who will give the order, would only confirm the executions would be this month.
“It’s getting closer,” he told reporters, saying preparations were “95 per cent ready”.
The timeframe for moving the men has shifted several times, as Indonesia prepares to execute 10 drug offenders – the most it has ever executed at one time.
The president has been contacted by leaders of various countries, including Australia, France, the Netherlands and Brazil, over the hardline drugs policy, but has not been swayed.
His friend and political ally, Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known better as Ahok, has revealed he has encouraged the president to abolish the death penalty, and he believes he is considering alternative views on the matter.
Meanwhile one of the Bali Nine drug mules sentenced to life in jail says he’s lost hope under Indonesia’s drugs policy and believes it would be more humane to execute him now, rather than let him die in jail.
In a letter to The Australian newspaper, Martin Stephens says Mr Joko’s decision to refuse the pair clemency, despite their great strides in rehabilitation, makes him wonder what hope there is for freedom or redemption for other drug offenders, like himself.
“It is more humane to just take me out the back and shoot me like Andrew and Myuran,” he wrote.