Handwritten Letters, Judicial Appeals Won’t Save Bali Nine Australians: Governor-General

One day after a candlelight vigil was held in their names in Sydney’s Martin Place, Indonesia’s attorney-general Muhammad Prasetyo has stated that an application for a judicial review and two handwritten letters filed by Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran to the president appealing for mercy will not stop them being executed by firing squad.

This afternoon, lawyers for the two convicted Bali Nine ringleaders formally requested second judicial review of their clients’ cases – a submission that HM Prasetyo says will be rejected on the grounds of an agreement between the Indonesian government and its courts.

In his letter to President Joko Widodo, Chan wrote that while the past decade of incarceration has been tough, he won’t complain “because I know I deserved to be jailed for quite a long time. I’m like a broken cup, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be repaired.” Sukumaran, meanwhile, described that he had been “very young and foolish and uneducated” at the time he and Chan attempted to smuggle heroin into Australia in 2005, but that the computer and art classes he has lead in Bali’s Kerobokan jail have taught him lessons in return:

“In a way, Bapak, I would like to thank you even though I’m in prison. If the lowest point of a society is prison, then it must be noted that your prison has changed me into an extraordinary person, a good man, an educated man.”

Yesterday, despite early reports indicating otherwise, an official from Prasetyo’s office said that decisions about which of Indonesia’s 19 foreign convicts on death row will be executed next were yet to be made.

You can sign a petition for mercy for Chan and Sukumaran here. 


Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images