Asia Families visit Indonesia penal island as coffins arrive

Families visit Indonesia penal island as coffins arrive

 

Members of the media photograph a convoy of ambulances as they arrive at Wijayapura ferry port to cross to the prison island of Nusakambangan, in Cilacap, Central Java, Indonesia, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. Indonesia notified nine foreigners and a local man convicted of drug trafficking over the weekend that their executions will be carried out within days, ignoring appeals by the U.N. chief and foreign leaders to spare them.
Members of the media photograph a convoy of ambulances as they arrive at Wijayapura ferry port to cross to the prison island of Nusakambangan, in Cilacap, Central Java, Indonesia, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. Indonesia notified nine foreigners and a local man convicted of drug trafficking over the weekend that their executions will be carried out within days, ignoring appeals by the U.N. chief and foreign leaders to spare them.

(AA) — Emotional scenes unfolded near a tightly guarded Indonesian penal island Tuesday as nine death row inmates were visited by family for what could be the last time before facing the firing squad.

In the midst of the confusion and tension at Wijayapura Port, Cilacap town, the sister of Australian drug convict Myuran Sukumaran, 34, broke into tears and suddenly collapsed, Detik.com reported.

As a crowd of local and foreign journalists rushed to witness and capture the moment, officers with sniffer dogs tried to block them.

More than a thousand army and police officers stood guard in the area surrounding Nusa Kambangan as religious counselors made their way to attend to the inmates.

Ambulances transported coffins prepared by a local mortician, who had crafted crosses stenciled with the date 29.04.2015 for the Christians among the group, to the island.

A lawyer for the two Australian “Bali Nine” ringleaders showed four paintings Sukumaran – whose last wish was to paint until his execution — had worked on in his isolation cell.

Among the four were two self-portraits, an image of a heart with the signatures of all nine inmates and one of a red and white Indonesian flag with streaks of blood.

“This picture of the heart means one feeling, one emotion [of death row inmates] in love,” Tribunnews.om quoted Todung Mulya Lubis as saying.

The back of the painting’s canvas had inscriptions by some of the condemned.

“Jesus always love us until in the eternal life,” wrote Filipina Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, a single mother of two sons who sought work in Malaysia as a maid when she was captured in Indonesia for allegedly smuggling heroin.

“God bless Indonesia” was the message of Nigerian Okwudili Oyatanze.

Police again intervened when journalists took a letter from the Indonesian girlfriend of Nigerian Raheem Agbaje Salami for reporting.

In a hand-written letter in English, Angela called her boyfriend a “good guy” and requested clemency from President Joko Widodo and all Indonesian people.

“I really love my boyfriend, please give him a second chance to live,” wrote Angela, according to Suara Pembaharuan newspaper.

Tony Spontana, Attorney General’s Office spokesperson, reiterated Tuesday that technical preparations for the execution had been completed by explaining that the 14-member firing squad has been on stand by since Friday for the executions at Nusa Kambangan’s shooting field, Tempo.co reported.

The inmates set to be executed after receiving 72-hour notices Saturday include: Martin Anderson from Ghana, Zainal Abidin from Indonesia, Rodrigo Gularte (Brazil), Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso (the Philippines), Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran (Australia), and Okwudili Oyatanze, Sylvester Obiekwe Nwolise and Raheem Agbajee Salami (Nigeria, although Salami is travelling on a Spanish passport).

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