Families plead for lives of Australians on death row in Indonesia

Families plead for lives of Australians on death row in Indonesia
In this file photo taken on August 17, 2010, convicted Australian drug smugglers Myuran Sukumaran (L) and Andrew Chan (R) sit inside Kerobokan prison in Denpasar, Bali.

SYDNEY - The families of two Australian drug convicts facing execution in Indonesia pleaded for their lives in an emotional interview on Saturday (Jan 24), and said they would not give up on them.

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, members of an Australian group dubbed the "Bali Nine" who were arrested on the Indonesia island of the same name in 2005, have lost their final appeals for clemency.

"I've been told that my son will be taken out and shot at any time. I don't know what to do," mother Raji Sukumaran told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. "He's done something stupid, he made a mistake, he's apologised for that and he's rehabilitated. Now I've been told he could just be given 72 hours and he'll be taken out and shot."

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Friday urged Indonesia to show mercy to the pair who were sentenced to death in 2006 for attempting to smuggle eight kilogrammes of heroin out of Bali.

Last weekend, Indonesia put to death five foreigners and one local woman convicted of drugs offences, unleashing a diplomatic storm as Brazil and the Netherlands condemned the execution of their citizens.

Both Raji Sukumaran and Chan's brother Michael Chan said they had confidence that the Australian government would do everything it could to prevent the executions.

"I'm not giving up, and I know the Australian government will do everything it can to bring the boys home, or even to stop the execution," Sukumaran said.

Michael Chan, who will soon travel to Bali to visit his brother, said he too was hopeful, even though he conceded "to know that we're sort of nearing the end of the road is heartbreaking". "We need to save the boys. They deserve a second chance," he said.

Earlier Saturday a lawyer for the two Australians said a legal team was preparing a bid for a judicial review for the pair involving "very serious, meritorious legal options".

"This is not some kind of scramble to gain a few weeks of life, or something like that," Julian McMahon told the ABC. "These are serious applications which, if they're able to be argued in the courts, would have a real chance of obtaining a result of a jail sentence rather than execution."

McMahon said the men were holding up well, despite their appeals for presidential clemency being rejected. "I've had quite a number of long talks with them in the last few days and they're coping pretty well but, you know, like anybody who has been told that they can expect to be taken out and shot pretty soon, they're obviously, you know, challenged by the whole thing. But they're doing very well."

Both men sought presidential clemency after losing appeals to Indonesia's Supreme Court in 2011.

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