Accessibility links

Abbott Calls on Indonesia to Spare Australians

  • VOA News

Australian Andrew Chan, right, and, and Myuran Sukumaran, left, stand inside a holding cell after their trial at a court in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2006. The two Australians were sentenced to death by firing squad for leading a drug s

Australian Andrew Chan, right, and, and Myuran Sukumaran, left, stand inside a holding cell after their trial at a court in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2006. The two Australians were sentenced to death by firing squad for leading a drug s

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is increasing pressure on Indonesia to spare two Australian drug smugglers on death row.

At a news conference Wednesday, Abbott said Australia will let Indonesia know "in absolutely unambiguous terms that we feel grievously let down" if the executions go ahead.

He also urged Indonesia to "reciprocate" for the massive aid package Australia supplied to Jakarta after the archipelago nation was hit by a massive tsunami in 2004.

"Let's not forget that a few years ago when Indonesia was struck by the Indian Ocean tsunami, Australia sent a billion dollars worth of assistance; we sent a significant contingent of our armed forces to help in Indonesia with humanitarian relief and Australians lost their lives in that campaign to help Indonesia," Abbott said.

While Abbott assured Indonesia that Australia is "always there to help you," he also said "we just can't ignore this kind of thing." He also added there is no sign Indonesia intends to offer clemency to the two Australians.

Hopes were raised on Tuesday after Indonesian authorities delayed the transfer of the two prisoners to the facility where they are scheduled to be killed by a firing squad.

But Indonesian officials said the delay was due to logistical difficulties and was also meant to give the prisoners more time to spend with their families before the execution.

The prisoners, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, headed a group of nine Australians, known as the Bali Nine, arrested 10 years ago after attempting to smuggle more than eight kilograms of heroin to Australia from Indonesia.

The case threatens to sour relations between the two countries, which were already damaged after it was revealed in late 2013 that Australia had been spying on top Indonesian leaders.

Show comments

XS
SM
MD
LG