Australia reeling after Bali Nine executions

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says Australia will recall its Ambassador to Indonesia following the “cruel and unnecessary” executions of the Bali Nine duo.

“Australia respects the Indonesian system, we respect Indonesian sovereignty,” Abbott said.

“But this simply cannot be business as usual and once all the courtesies have been extended to the Chan and Sukumaran families our ambassador will be withdrawn for consultations.”

Abbott said the two men had been reformed after spending a decade behind bars and the executions were “cruel and unnecessary”.

Australia’s Ambassador to Indonesia Paul Grigson is due to return home by the end of the week.

Ministerial contacts between the two nations was suspended once the executions became likely.

Australia’s relationship with Indonesia has been strained as of late and Abbott said it has suffered further as a result of what’s occurred in the last few hours.

“It is very unusual, indeed unprecedented, for an ambassador to be withdrawn so I don’t want to minimise the gravity of what we’ve done,” he said.

However, the Prime Minister added, “We’ve got to be very careful to ensure we do not allow our anger to make the situation worse.”

“It’s important the relationship between the Australian government and Indonesian government continue.”

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

“While this is a dark moment in the relationship, I am confident the relationship will be restored for the benefit of both our great countries.”

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said “The withdrawal of an ambassador is to register our displeasure at the way our citizens have been treated.”

“The consultations are to enable us to discuss, with Ambassador Grigson, the way forward in relation to the Indonesia-Australia relationship in the longer term.”

Bishop said Indonesian authorities had not yet confirmed the duo’s death but “we must assume that the executions have taken place and that she’s in the process of formally identifying the bodies.”

Australian consular officials are providing the Chan and Sukumaran families with support and assistance and will arrange for the bodies of the two men to be repatriated to Australia.

The Bali Nine duo, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, and six other prisoners were lined up and shot dead in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The convicted drug smugglers were being held on Nusakambangan prison island, off the southern coast of Indonesia’s Java island.

The families of the deceased men released this brief statement following the executions.

“Today we lost Myuran and Andrew. Our sons, our brothers.

“In the 10 years since they were arrested, they did all they could to make amends, helping many others. They asked for mercy, but there was none. They were immensely grateful for all the support they received. We too, will be forever grateful.”

Chinthu Sukumaran (L), and Michael Chan (R). Brothers of Australian death row prisoners. Photo: Getty Images


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