SYDNEY (DPA) — Australia has appealed to the Indonesian leadership more than 50 times not to execute two Australians facing the death penalty, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Monday.
The two Australians, Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31, face the death penalty for drug trafficking and could be among the next group of prisoners to face a firing squad after six were executed on Sunday.
Sukumaran and Chan were sentenced to death in 2006 as leaders of the so-called Bali Nine who were caught in 2005 trying to smuggle 8 kilograms of heroin out of Bali.
Sukumaran has been told his bid for clemency has been rejected. Chan is waiting for a decision on his clemency, but new Indonesian President Joko Widodo has said there will be no pardons. Authorities say prisoners convicted of the same crime will be executed together.
Bishop told Channel 9 Monday there had been 50 to 55 meetings with senior Indonesian leaders over the past few years and every time Australia raised the case against the death penalty.
She said Australians found the death penalty "abhorrent," and her view was that executing drug traffickers would not stop the drug trade.
But Bishop conceded Indonesia had its own laws and the new Widodo government had promised it would be tough on drug traffickers.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said he hopes the two Australians will be shown mercy, but he said he would not do anything that would jeopardise relations between the two countries.