News World Bali Nine: Chan’s mother makes impassioned plea for son’s life

Bali Nine: Chan’s mother makes impassioned plea for son’s life

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The mother of Andrew Chan, one of two Australians on death row in Bali, has made a passionate plea for her son’s life in the countdown to his execution.

Helen Chan spoke exclusively to Four Corners after travelling to Bali to spend time with her son.

• Bali Nine pair ‘will be executed’
• Prisoners plead for Bali Nine

“I would like to beg the Indonesian president to have clemency on him and give him a chance to change his future,” Ms Chan said.

Mr Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are set to face an Indonesian firing squad this month for planning to smuggle heroin to Australia as part of the so-called Bali Nine.

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are trying everything possible to keep themselves from facing the firing squad. Photo: AAP

Repeated efforts to overturn their death sentences have been unsuccessful, with president Joko Widodo refusing to grant clemency.

“Why is it that the Indonesian president does not give him a chance and have pity on us being aged parents?” Ms Chan said.

“We are old and in poor health and we do not have long to live, therefore we would not like to see our son go before us.”

Ms Chan and the mother of Mr Sukumaran on Monday met with Indonesia’s human rights commission in Jakarta, in an attempt to get support to save their sons’ lives.

They arrived at the commission in an Australian embassy van and met with the commissioners who again called for the abolition of the death penalty and a moratorium on executions.

That has long been the position of the commission, but the government is unlikely to listen.

‘Every day he is walking in the valley of death’

Ms Chan, a retired chef who used to run a restaurant in western Sydney, has been travelling to Bali every few years to visit her son in Kerobokan prison.

This is believed to be the first time she has spoken to media about her anguish as a mother.

Ms Chan has been travelling to Bali every few years to visit her son Andrew in Kerobokan prison. Photo: AAP

“Every day he is walking in the valley of death. His future is unknown,” she says.

Nevertheless, Ms Chan said she was proud of the way her son had conducted himself.

“He is willing to face it, he is not ignoring his wrongdoing,” she said.

“This is what I am proud of. I feel that he is very down to Earth – facing death every day, but not crying or making a scene.

“Therefore this time when I see him, although I am sad, I have inner peace.”

Repeatedly described as “changed men”, Mr Chan and Mr Sukumaran have received widespread praise for their rehabilitation work in prison.

But the character assessment has not been enough to change Mr Widodo’s tough stance on drug offenders.

Lawyers for the duo are launching a rare administrative challenge to their executions, in what has been described as a “last-chance” effort.

They conceded, however, that time was running out.


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