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Australia recalls ambassador over Indonesia executions

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Australia recalls ambassador over Indonesia executions


A diplomatic backlash is underway after eight drug traffickers, seven of them foreigners, were executed by an Indonesian firing squad.

Indignation has been loudest from Australia over the death sentences carried out early on Wednesday against its two citizens Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

The two Australians as well as four Nigerians, a Brazilian and an Indonesian were executed in a forest clearing on the prison island of Nusakambangan.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, all are said to have sung hymns and refused blindfolds in their final moments.

Trade ties between Australia and Indonesia will continue but Australia has recalled its ambassador.

“We respect Indonesia’s sovereignty but we do deplore what has been done and this cannot be simply business as usual,” Australian Prime Minster Tony Abbott told reporters in Canberra.

“I want to stress that this is a very important relationship between Australia and Indonesia but it has suffered as a result of what’s been done over the last few hours.”

Indonesia shrugged off the diplomatic recall, saying it would just be
short term.

Brazil had already withdrawn its ambassador over an earlier execution.

This time the family of Brazilian citizen Rodrigo Gularte had pleaded for clemency on the grounds of mental illness – to no avail.

A stay of execution was granted to a female prisoner from the Philippines.

Rupert Colville, UN human rights spokesman in Geneva, criticised Jakarta’s use of the death penalty.

“Indonesia appeals for clemency when its own nationals face execution in other countries, so it is incomprehensible why it absolutely refuses to grant clemency for lesser crimes on its own territory,” he said.

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