News World Govt threatens boycott over executions

Govt threatens boycott over executions

Julie Bishop AAP
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Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has struck a blow at Indonesia’s crucial tourism industry in a continuing effort to save the lives of two Australian citizens.

The Foreign Minister says she has been “overwhelmed” with messages of support from Australians who may shun the nation if the execution of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran goes ahead.

“I think the Australian people will demonstrate their deep disapproval of this action, including by making decisions about where they wish to holiday,” she said.

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The government has ramped up its rhetoric in recent days in a last ditch attempt to prevent the killing of Chan and Sukumaran, who have been convicted of drug charges.

Both Ms Bishop and shadow foreign minister Tanya Plibersek spoke passionately in Parliament on Thursday calling on Indonesia to back down.

Authorities in Indonesia are finalising plans to move the men from Bali to their place of execution on a prison island off Java.

“I’ve been overwhelmed with emails and text messages, I know that people have been staging vigils and rallies,” Ms Bishop said.

“We’re asking for clemency, we’re asking for mercy for two Australian citizens who have been rehabilitated.”

The men have lost an appeal and a judicial review of their death sentences and have been denied clemency by the Indonesian president. Their legal team had attempted a second judicial review, which was not accepted. A rare legal challenge to an administrative court against the Indonesian president’s refusal to grant them pardons is pending.

Chan and Sukumaran face execution by firing squad. Only three bullets will be fired at each of the men, increasing the likelihood that the men will not die instantly.

“Executions are not clean killings,” their Australian lawyer, Julian McMahon, told AAP in January.

“If the prisoner isn’t dead straight away, the commanding officer is meant to walk up and then put a bullet in the head.”

Education Minister Christopher Pyne has said that the government, with the help of Labor, has done “absolutely everything” it could to rescue the men.

“It’ll be a great tragedy if those two young men face the death penalty,” Mr Pyne.

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