The families of two Australian convicts facing execution in Indonesia paid an anguished final visit to their loved ones today, wailing in grief as ambulances carrying empty white coffins arrived at their prison.
The family members of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, ringleaders of the so-called “Bali Nine” heroin trafficking group, arrived at Nusakambangan prison calling for mercy for their loved ones, with Sukumaran’s sister collapsing and having to be carried, an AFP reporter at the scene said.
Chan and Sukumaran are among nine prisoners — eight of whom are foreigners, one Indonesian — facing death after authorities gave them final notice of their executions.
The families have been asked to say their final goodbyes by today afternoon as signs were mounting that the death sentences would carried out by early Wednesday.
Australian media have published photos of crosses that will be used for the coffins, inscribed with Wednesday’s date, 29.04.2015.
An AFP reporter at Nusakambangan, the high-security prison where the prisoners are awaiting their sentence, said ambulances carrying the empty white coffins arrived Tuesday.
The convicts, who have been held in isolation cells since the weekend, also include nationals from Brazil, the Philippines and Nigeria.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has signalled his determination to push on with the executions despite mounting international condemnation.
Indonesian Attorney-General Muhammad Prasetyo told AFP that authorities will not announce a date before the executions.
The families of Chan and Sukumaran, who have been visiting them frequently in recent days, were unable to control their emotion as they arrived at Cilacap, the town that serves as the gateway to Nusakambangan.
Members of Sukumaran’s family screamed and cried out “mercy” as they walked in a slow procession to the port.
Sukumaran’s sister Brintha wailed and called out her brother’s name, collapsing into the arms of family members who had to carry her.
Chan’s mother was shielded by family members but was clearly distraught as she passed waiting media.
Chan, who like Sukumaran is in his 30s, married his Indonesian girlfriend in a jailhouse ceremony with family and friends on Nusakambangan on Monday, his final wish.