News World Families make emotional pleas for Bali duo
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Families make emotional pleas for Bali duo

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Myuran Sukumaran’s sister has issued an emotional plea for his life to be spared, appearing in a YouTube video clutching a photograph of her brother as a young boy wearing a school uniform.

“My brother made a mistake 10 years ago and he’s paid for this mistake every single day since then,” Brintha Sukumaran said.

“My brother is now a good man and after 10 years in prison, he has taught so many Indonesian prisoners about art and about how to live outside in the world and have a good and productive life

“From the bottom of my heart, please President Widodo have mercy on my brother … change punishment for humanity.”

Sukumaran and his co-charged Andrew Chan were sentenced to death Indonesia in 2006, as ringleaders of the Bali Nine drug smuggling gang.

Some of their family members are on the way to Cilacap.

Consular officials from the countries whose citizens face execution have also started arriving in Cilacap, which is close to the high-security prison island of Nusakambangan where all of the death row convicts are now housed.

Australian and Indonesian officials have met and it is understood they discussed final requests from the condemned men and their funeral arrangements.

Jakarta has said an exact date for the executions could not be decided yet, as a judicial review was still pending for the sole Indonesian in the group of 10 people who face death by firing squad.

Indonesia’s Supreme Court said the ruling on that case could be made as early as Monday, paving the way for the executions to proceed.

Authorities said on Thursday they had ordered prosecutors to start making preparations for the executions. However convicts must be given 72 hours’ notice before executions are carried out, and this notice is yet to be given.

Lawyers for the Australians say the legal process is not complete, with both a constitutional court challenge and judicial commission still in progress, however Indonesia says all judicial reviews and appeals for clemency have been exhausted, and that the legal manoeuvres amount to delaying tactics.

Widodo ignores pleas from around the world

The 10 inmates facing execution, including one each from Brazil, France and the Philippines, and four from Africa, have all lost appeals for clemency from president Joko Widodo, who has argued that Indonesia is fighting a drugs emergency.

Mr Widodo has turned a deaf ear to increasingly desperate appeals on the convicts’ behalf from their governments, from social media and from others such as band Napalm Death — the president is a huge heavy metal fan.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop renewed Canberra’s appeals for Mr Widodo “to have a change of heart” but admitted she feared the worst, and has requested formal talks with her Indonesian counterpart, while France has said the execution of its citizen would be “incomprehensible”.

The family of the Filipina, Mary Jane Veloso, has also arrived in Cilacap.

Veloso’s father and mother, her two sons aged six and 12, and sister pushed through a scrum of waiting journalists.

“If anything bad happens to my daughter, I will hold many people accountable. They owe us my daughter’s life,” Veloso’s 55-year-old mother, Celia, told a Philippine radio station.

“I hope my appeal reaches President Widodo.”

Lawyers for Veloso have also filed another court bid to halt her execution.

ABC/AFP