Indonesian death row convicts isolated, depressed

Indonesian death row convicts isolated, depressed
A ferry transports visitors to Nusakambangan prison island.

Death row convicts held in isolation on Nusakambangan prison island in Cilacap, Central Java, are growing weak and depressed as their execution date nears.

Christian minister Mirjaja from the Bali Abbalove Church, who acts as the spiritual counselor for death row convict Myuran Sukumaran, travelled to Nusakambangan on Thursday and said Sukumaran was dejected.

"I know him well because I've been accompanying him almost every day while he was at the Ke-robokan Penitentiary in Bali," Mirjaja told The Jakarta Post at the Wijaya Pura Dock in Cilacap, the gateway to the prison island.

According to the priest, after all of Sukumaran's legal efforts failed, his mental condition began to deteriorate.

"It's not just that he will soon be executed, but also because of the futile legal efforts he's undergone," said Mirjaja.

"He told me that before his death he only wished to be accompanied by his family and close friends and he asked me to accompany him for as long as he is in Nusakambangan," he added.

Sukumaran and another Australian, Andrew Chan - both of whom are members of the infamous Bali Nine group - arrived in Nusakambangan on Wednesday on a chartered Wings Air flight escorted by two Indonesian Air Force Sukhoi and two F-16 fighter jets.

After arriving, the pair were placed in isolation cells. The are scheduled to face a firing squad from the Central Java Police's Mobile Brigade (Brimob).

Separately, human rights activist Ursa Supit said Nigerian death row convict Raheem Agbaje Salami had also been brought to the prison island.

"He is in good condition but tired, probably due to the long trip, which took eight hours from the Madiun Penitentiary to Nusakambangan," Supit said at the Wijaya Pura Dock after visiting Raheem on Thursday afternoon.

Supit added that Raheem, recently transferred from the Madiun Penitentiary in East Java, had not yet been placed in an isolation cell.

The Attorney General's Office (AGO) stated earlier that 11 death row convicts would be executed. However, only 10 individuals have been named.

Of the 10 individuals, nine are already on Nusakambangan and one, Filipina Mary Jane Veloso, remains at the Wirogunan Penitentiary in Yogyakarta.

Others slated to be executed are drug convicts Serge Areski Atlaoui of France, Rodrigo Gularte of Brazil, Martin Anderson of Ghana, Zainal Abidin of Indonesia and Indonesian murder convict Syofial,

On Thursday, a day after Sukumaran and Chan were transferred to Nusakambangan, police, assisted by the Indonesian Military (TNI), beefed up security around the Wijaya Pura Dock.

"We are carrying out our duty to secure Nusakambangan and surrounding areas until the executions are over. We have posted more than 100 of our personnel in the waters off Nusakambangan," said Cilacap Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Ulung Sampurna Jaya.

Only those with pressing affairs are allowed to meet inmates on the island.

Several individuals, including relatives, have been prevented by security personnel at Wijaya Pura Dock from visiting loved ones as they await execution.

"Yes, we were prohibited from entering just now, despite the fact that Andrew is my brother [...] Andrew is the adopted son of my father, Daniel Alexander, so we must meet him to support him," Nicolas Alexander told journalists.

He said his father had visited Chan almost every day while he was being held at the Kerobokan Penitentiary on Bali.

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