Australian politicians and celebrities have united in pleas for clemency for the Bali Nine duo

The Bali Nine duo, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, have been transferred from Kerobokan prison to Nusakambangan island prison in preparation for their executions.

The men, who have been held in the Balinese prison system since 2005 for smuggling heroin, have received substantial international media attention since it was announced they will soon be executed for their crimes.

If the men face the firing squad, they will become the first Australians executed overseas in 10 years.

The case has brought both sides of politics together, united on the cause to save the men from the firing squad. Also calling for clemency are Australian celebrities, who have signed up for the Mercy Campaign petition.

Here’s what they are saying about the Bali Nine duo.

Tony Abbott

The Bali Nine duo “deserve a long, long time in jail but they don’t deserve to die”.

Australia would feel “grievously let down” if the men are executed.

“I’ve got to say, we can’t just ignore this kind of thing… if perfectly reasonable representations are made to them [Indonesia].

“I would say to the Indonesian people and the government, we in Australia are always there to help you and we hope that you might reciprocate in this way at this time.”

– February 18, 2015.

Julie Bishop

“I spoke [with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi] of the remorse and the rehabilitation of the two men. I said it was unthinkable for preparations to proceed for the executions while the legal avenues remained open and I asked that President Widodo grant them a stay of execution and he show them mercy and forgiveness.

“She agreed to speak to the Attorney General of Indonesia about my request that Australia be kept informed of the planning – indeed the timetable – for preparations and she undertook to do that but she emphasised that Indonesia is a sovereign country, it has its own law. Those laws include the death penalty to those who are convicted of serious drug trafficking.

“We have been making representations for over a month now at this level.

“Of course there have been representations throughout the last 10 years, but it is a much higher level , much more concerted effort since Indonesia actually carried out executions of other prisoners on death row in January.”

“I understand the seriousness of these crimes … [people] will say well ‘my children have been affected’ or ‘we’ve had heroin overdoses that have led to death and I understand the seriousness of what they’ve done.

“But they’ve shown great remorse, they have been rehabilitated and [you] cannot turn back the clock if we have them executed now if the Indonesian government, the authorities, carry out these executions it is not going to deter others.

“That has to be done through education programs and other initiatives.

“It can’t bring anybody back but what it can do is show that people can be given a second chance if they truly are remorseful for their offences and they are truly rehabilitated and are making a positive difference to the lives of other prisoners who are going through rehabilitation.

– March 5, 2015.

Tanya Plibersek

“We are united in opposing the death penalty in this case as we are in every case.”

“We would plead with the Indonesian government and the people of Indonesia … for the lives of two young men who have made enormous transformations in their lives and who are making enormous transformations in the lives of other people as well.”

– March 5, 2015

Kevin Rudd

“As a deep, long-standing friend of Indonesia, I would respectfully request an act of clemency.”

– February 17, 2015.

Julia Gillard

“I would find it heartbreaking if such extraordinary efforts to become of good character were not met with an act of mercy.”

– February 17, 2015.

Bill Shorten

“We know that the Indonesian people are generous and we appeal to that generosity.

“We do not believe that anything is solved by executing these two young men who by all accounts have more than rehabilitated themselves.”

– March 4, 2015.

Former Attorney-General Philip Ruddock

“It would appear to suggest that the Indonesians are progressing to a situation where they will be executed, I think that is clear, but that doesn’t mean we should stop putting our representations [forward] and I know the Foreign Minister’s been very active in relation to the matter.

“I don’t think [the disbandment of the Parliamentarians Against the Death Penalty Group] would, in that sense, have made an immediate difference in relation to the convictions that they suffered, the death penalty that was imposed, but I’ve wanted to ensure that we have a continuing role in these matters.”

– March 4, 2015.

Tony Abbott

“Like millions of Australians, I feel sick in the pit of my stomach when I think about what is quite possibly happening to these youngsters and, like every parent, I want to try to ensure that nothing terrible happens to people.”

– February 17, 2015.

John Howard

“Mercy being shown in such circumstances would not weaken the deterrent effect of Indonesia’s strong anti-drug laws.”

– February 17, 2015.

Bob Hawke

“I call on the Indonesian government to show mercy and clemenecyt to Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. Justice should be based on human understanding. These two men made a mistake when they were young and foolish.”

– February 17, 2015.

Julie Bishop

“I know that Indonesia opposes the death penalty as it applies to its citizens when they face death row in countries overseas.

“So we’re not asking the [Indonesian] president or the government to do any more than they ask of other governments when their citizens are on death row.

“We will continue to appeal to president Widodo’s strength and his humanity to show mercy and forgiveness for these two Australian men who have undergone this remarkable rehabilitation.”

– March 4, 2015.

Black Sabbath veteran Tony Iommi

“I appeal to you, as a forgiving man, to take note of their transformation. They are now reformed men who are making a positive difference to the lives of their fellow prisoners”.

“For this reason, I would ask that you stop the execution of Andrew and Myuran.

“Please allow them to serve out life sentences where they contribute to the wellbeing of Indonesia and make good for the error of their previous ways.”

– March 5, 2015

Australian artists and ‘I stand for mercy campaigner’ Ben Quilty

“I think he’s (Sukumaran) pretty resolved for what is going to happen to him and it’s obvious they’re making preparations inside the prison for him to move out. It was a very hard thing to leave him there.”

“He had a huge grin on his face [when he heard about the Julie Bishop and Tanya Plibersek’s speeches in Parliament] and he said to me: ‘Benny, can you believe this?’

“I said: ‘Mate, I’ve been telling you that people care’. And in that position it’s very difficult to understand that people do care and to hear it come out of Parliament was a powerful thing for both of them and their families.

“And I was a very proud Australian to see that happen.”

“There’s young men and women from all across the world who’ve done bad crimes that are in that prison who will be lost without Myuran.

“I said goodbye to Myuran. I’ve been told I won’t be allowed back into the prison. I don’t know what hope there is.”

– February 16, 2015.

A long list of Australia celebrities have also joined Quilty’s mercy campaign aimed at saving Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran from the firing squad.

In a short video, Actors Asher Keddie and Claudia Karvan, musicians Missy Higgins and Megan Washington, and broadcasters Alan Jones and Andrew Denton rallying behind the men asking the Indonesian government take mercy on them.

While most of the responses have been positive there are a few others who have said otherwise.

Derryn Hinch

“In Indonesia, they know that when they commit crimes like this, then you could get the death penalty.

“I say hypocritical because are these people who are up there who are saying ‘I stand for mercy’ — is that for Australian drug dealers or Australians on death row, or for everybody?

“I mean did they stand up a week ago and say ‘I stand for mercy’ for the Brazilian who was executed in Indonesia, or the one from the Netherlands, or the Indonesian woman or somebody from Malawi? Or is it just Australians?

“If you’re going to say ‘I stand for mercy’, stand for mercy for everybody, if you’re against the death penalty, be against it for everybody.”

– January 26, 2015.

Independent Senator Jacqui Lambie

“I would remind Australia that they give $500 million in foreign aid each year to Indonesia.

“Why the hell are we giving $500 million? Why are we doing that? Nobody will answer my question, so I think it’s a fair point. Pull the bloody foreign aid.

“If you want to want to talk about executions, we lost 88 people in the Bali bombings over there. Those people that were part of that outfit are now walking out on the streets.

“I would ask Tony Abbott to put his foot down and start using a bit of manly influence and let’s see what he’s made of.”

– February 18, 2015.

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