Joko Widodo Indicates There Will Be No Relief For Australian Drug Smugglers Sentenced For Execution

President of Indonesia Joko Widodo and Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbott during a plenary session at the G-20 in Brisbane. Photo: Rob Griffith – Pool/ Getty.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo is likely to go ahead with the executions of Bali Nine ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, after indicating that there will be no last-minute reprieve.

In an interview with CNN yesterday, the President was asked if there would be relief for the Australians. He responded by shaking his head.

“Imagine every day we have 50 people die because of narcotics, in one year it’s 18,000 people because of narcotics,” Widodo said.

“We are not going to compromise for drug dealers. No compromise, no compromise.”

Last week, Prime Minister Tony Abbott made a public appeal on behalf of Chan and Sukumaran, saying the men “deserve mercy” because they were “reformed characters”.

“Australia opposes the death penalty at home and abroad. While Australia respects Indonesia‚Äôs sovereignty, we are asking that Indonesia reconsider its decision to execute two Australian citizens.

The government has made representations at the highest levels. The Foreign Affairs Minister and I have both made representations to our Indonesian counterparts and are continuing to make every possible effort through the most effective channels to stop Mr Sukumaran and Mr Chan being executed.

The Opposition has been fully briefed on our efforts and I thank them for their cooperation. This is appropriate as it is a matter that has spanned five governments.

This is an unimaginably difficult time for the families of these young men. I spoke with both families today and will ensure that the government continues to support them. Both men are reformed characters and both have helped to rehabilitate other prisoners. The prerogative of mercy should be extended to them.

In the best interests of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, the government will not make further public comments but I want to assure Australians that our support will continue.”

The statement did not reveal whether he had communicated with Widodo personally about the situation.

On January 18, six drug-smugglers were put to death in Indonesia after their clemency appeals were denied. They were given three days’ notice of their execution.

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