The mother of executed drug smuggler Myuran Sukumaran has written an emotional open letter to Indonesia’s president, chastising him for refusing to grant her son clemency and saying he lacked the “courage” to meet her face to face.
After 10 years on death row and numerous legal battles, Sukumaran and Andrew Chan were put to death last week on the Indonesian island of Nusakambangan for attempting to traffic heroin.
In her letter to Joko Widodo, Raji Sukumaran said she hoped she could “help other people or their families in some way as they sit and wait for you to order their deaths”.
“I am not sure where you were as the men you ordered to kill my son, and seven others pulled the trigger but I am sure you were far away,” she wrote.
“My son died knowing all his loved ones were close by waiting in a hotel room to hear the news that he had been executed.
“My son did commit a serious crime but he also apologised to your country and your people many times.
“Myu spent many years rehabilitating so many prisoners. He hoped that he could help as many people as possible, to give them a chance to leave prison to go out in the world a little better than they came inside.
“My son never asked for his rehabilitation to be enough to free him from prison, all he asked was he he not be killed. Was it too much for you to let him live the remainder of his life in prison?”
Indonesia has staunchly defended the executions as a vital front of its “war” on drugs.
“Mr President, do you think that your punishment towards my son after he had spent 10 years in gaol reformed and helping others and then executing him is fair and just,” Ms Sukumaran wrote.
She said she hoped Mr Widodo and his wife understood as parents what she and Chan’s mother were going through.
“I hope that your children, your grandchildren, your nephews and nieces never make a mistake,” she wrote.
“I also want you to remember when your child falls in love, gets married, makes plans for the future, that Andrew Chan also fell in love, made plans for his future and was executed. How would it feel if this was your son?”
She said that, as a mother, she would be punished for the rest of her life because of her son’s death, and criticised Mr Widodo for ignoring her requests for a meeting.
“I asked to meet you, to speak to you but once again you could not even have the courage to face our requests to communicate with you.”
Funeral services for Chan and Sukumaran will be held in Sydney in the next few days.
Chan’s widow to read parts of final letter at funeral
Family and friends will farewell Chan at a funeral in Sydney on Friday, where his widow will read from the final letter he sent her.
Chan and his widow, Febyanti Herewila, were married during his last hours on death row in Indonesia.
The funeral will also include a reflection Chan wrote about his life before he was executed on April 29 with fellow Bali Nine drug smuggler Sukumaran.
Expected to run for two hours, the service is being held at Hillsong Church in Baulkham Hills from 11am and will also be streamed live online.
A private cremation will be held afterwards.
For those planning on buying flowers for Chan, his family asks that they instead adopt “the pay it forward attitude and bless someone”.
“We’d love to see this money used to help others or be donated to a worthy cause,” Andrew’s brother, Michael, said in a statement.
They have not authorised any website asking for donations, so are warning the public to be wary of fraudulent sites.