Limited access to death row convicts for counselors

Limited access to death row convicts for counselors
A ferry transports visitors to Nusakambangan prison island.

Central Java Law and Human Rights Agency chief Mirza Zulkarnain said not every religious minister could give spiritual counsel to death row convicts currently awaiting execution at the Nusakambangan prison island.

"Only those approved and officially appointed by the Attorney General's Office [AGO] can be spiritual counselors," Mirza said over the phone on Sunday.

He said religious ministers could claim they have been appointed as counselors by the convicts, but unless their names were registered and approved by the AGO they would not be able to meet with the convicts.

A number of people have tried to enter the prison island through its official entry port, the Wijaya Pura pier on the mainland, by claiming to be religious ministers for nine death row convicts, which include Bali Nine duo Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, as executions draw near.

However, only registered family members and lawyers have been allowed to enter the island by security personnels, who have been tightly guarding the infamous island over the past week.

The AGO has yet to announce when the executions would be conducted although many had speculated that it would be conducted over the weekend based on the January executions of six drug traffickers.

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