News National 150,000 signatures for clemency

150,000 signatures for clemency

The Mercy Campaign has gathered over 150,000 signatures asking for clemency for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.
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A petition of more than 150,000 signatures asking for clemency for two Australians on death row in Bali will today be presented to members of the men’s families in Sydney.

A meeting will take place in Jakarta tomorrow between Australian officials and Indonesian Foreign Ministry officials, during which the details of the procedure for the executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will be outlined.

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A ministry spokesman said the meeting is to advise foreign embassies about the 72-hour notification the Australians will be given before their planned executions this month and other procedures including media coverage.

Several other foreigners are also on the list to be killed.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop have made repeated calls for clemency for the men, arguing they have been rehabilitated and should be shown leniency.

Matt Goldberg, the co-founder of the Mercy Campaign which is calling for the men to be spared execution, has organised the petition and says Australians are refusing to give up hope.

“The speeches before the parliament recently both by the Foreign Minister and the shadow foreign minister made it abundantly clear that the Australian position is absolute and undeniable support for Andrew and Myuran, and for their protection from the death penalty,” he said.

“So the submission of the petitions so far received in the course of the campaign should only strengthen that.”

Mr Goldberg said there are still legal avenues that can be pursued.

“We’re not stopping, and we’re not giving up hope, that there will be an alternative to the death penalty,” he said.

“We can say that optimistically, because we know that Andrew and Myuran have, themselves, the strongest claim to clemency,” he said.

“So, we will not stop, the campaign will persist, we will continue to register people’s submissions of support and convey them to all levels of government.”

Mr Abbott has warned Indonesia there will be repercussions if the executions are carried out.

The Prime Minister has again urged clemency for the pair, saying Australia expects Indonesia to respond to its request the same way it expects other countries to respond.

“My plea, even at this late stage, is for Indonesia to be as responsive to us as it expects other countries to be to them when they plead for the lives of their citizens on death row overseas,” he said.

Australia has been reluctant to recall its ambassador because it wants to keep communication channels open.

But Mr Abbott said the Government would find ways of making its displeasure known if the executions go ahead.

He also warned that Australians would be angry considering the aid money given to Indonesia following the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004.