February 6, 2015 / 7:09 AM / in 3 years

Indonesia to execute two Australians for drug offences this month

Australian Andrew Chan (L) and Myuran Sukumaran wait in a temporary cell for their appeal hearing in Denpasar District Court in Indonesia's resort island of Bali September 21, 2010. REUTERS/Murdani Usman

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Two Australian members of the “Bali Nine” drug trafficking ring, arrested in Bali in 2005 for attempting to smuggle 8 kg (18 lb) of heroin to Australia, will be executed this month, a government official said on Friday, ignoring clemency pleas from their home country.

Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan are among eight prisoners due to be executed as President Joko Widodo pursues a hardline approach to drug offences, drawing criticism from rights activists at home and abroad.

“We received notification from Bali’s attorney general yesterday that the two Australians whose clemency has been rejected by the president will be executed in February 2015,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Armanatha Nasir.

“We have informed the Australian embassy of this.”

Last month, Indonesia executed six prisoners by firing squad for drug offences, including five foreigners from Brazil, Malawi, the Netherlands, Nigeria and Vietnam.

Brazil and the Netherlands recalled their ambassadors in Indonesia, while Nigeria summoned Indonesia’s ambassador in Abuja.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said last month she would not rule out recalling the country’s envoy if the executions go ahead.

Nasir played down potential for a diplomatic fallout as a result of the executions.

“This is not a political or diplomatic issue,” Nasir said. “We are just upholding our law by addressing the crimes that these individuals committed. We are not against any particular nation.”

Others in line for execution include citizens of Brazil, France, Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria and the Philippines, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office said last week.

Reporting by Kanupriya Kapoor; Editing by Nick Macfie

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