A vigil in support of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran has heard emotional statements from the pair, who say the “compassion and kindness from people forgiving our stupidity” has made them feel “truly blessed”.
Indonesia has delayed transferring the Bali Nine pair from Kerobokan prison, to the island where they are due to be executed, and says it is “almost certain” the Australians will not face the firing squad this month.
Vigils were being held across Australia on Wednesday night in support of the Australians, including at Toongabbie in western Sydney, which was read a letter from each of the men.
“Please tell everyone at tonight’s vigils in Australia that we are amazed at how kind and supportive everyone has been and it has touched our hearts,” Sukumaran said, in a letter read by The Chaser’s Craig Reucassel.
“It has helped our families so much. It makes us even more determined to be better people and to do more to help people; to show more kindness like that which everyone has given us, especially our families.
“Whatever happens, I know that me and Andrew are good people now and that even though we’ve been in prison with a death sentence, we have been truly blessed.
“Blessed to have beautiful family and friends. Blessed to have received so much compassion and kindness from people forgiving our stupidity and supporting our change for the better.
“As we face what’s coming, we thank everyone who has supported us. There are no words for this kindness.”
Mr Reucassel also read a letter from Chan to the service.
“I would like to thank you for attending this vigil on the grounds of mercy and hope,” he said.
“This campaign is more than just about myself or Myu. It represents a second chance and forgiveness. It represents kindness and help for those in helpless situations.
“Mercy represents us all here. I would like you to take a moment and reflect just on the word mercy. Please don’t let this just be about myself and Myu but about others all over the world who need your help.”
Ben Quilty and Alan Jones call for mercy at Sydney vigil
The Toongabbie vigil was organised by artist Ben Quilty, who has befriended the men and said he could “quite literally flood this place with tears”.
“Maybe because I have been spending a bit of time in a prison lately I felt a bit nervous calling Blacktown police to tell them about tonight. But as soon as I told them what I was ringing for instantly I heard a compassionate voice down the phone,” he told the gathering.
Radio host Alan Jones told the crowd that “we stand for mercy because we are all imperfect”.
Crowds gather around the country
Vigils were also held in cities including Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne.
Earlier on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she was able to speak directly to Chan and Sukumaran over speakerphone.
“I think the delay in the decision to proceed with the planning of these executions came as a great relief to them and obviously to their families,” she told Fairfax radio in Melbourne.
Meanwhile Prime Minister Tony Abbott urged Indonesia to remember the contribution Australia made to the tsunami relief effort and to spare the lives of Chan and Sukumaran.
But Indonesian foreign ministry spokesman Armanatha Nasir warned threats were not part of diplomatic language.
Chan and Sukumaran are on death row for attempting to smuggle drugs to Australia in 2005 as part of the so-called Bali Nine group.