World Bulletin / News Desk
Delegations from foreign embassies in Indonesia traveled Saturday to a penal island where ten drug convicts -- including nine foreigners -- are set to face execution.
Representatives from the embassies of Australia, the Philippines and Brazil arrived for a closed meeting at the Attorney General’s Office complex in Cilacap, near Nusa Kambangan in Java, the Detik.com news website reported.
They were followed by delegations from other embassies, the inmates’ lawyers and state prosecutors.
Reporters were prohibited from entering the office’s grounds, but could observe from outside the compound’s fence as the delegations arrived.
Attorney General spokesman Tony Spontana had earlier confirmed that Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry had invited the officials in preparation for the executions.
Spontana said Thursday that the date of execution for the nationals from seven different countries would be set Monday once a final appeal by an Indonesian drug trafficker is known.
"If Zainal's appeal is rejected, it will complete the [appeals of] the inmates," he explained, according to Indonesian website detik.com.
Indonesia, which gives prisoners at least three days notice before execution, has said it will wait until all appeals have been exhausted before the ten face the firing squad.
A list released by the Attorney General’s Office indicates that the smuggling convicts are being held at three facilities on Nusa Kambangan.
Family members of Philippine national Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, including her 6- and 12-year-old sons, traveled to Nasu Kambangan on Saturday alongside her lawyers and activists from Indonesia’s Migrant Worker Network.
"We came to visit Mary Jane in Besi Prison," Veloso's lawyer Muhammad Ismail told reporters at Cilacap’s Wajayapura port, the only point from which to cross to Nusa Kambangan.
Detik.com quoted Ismail as confirming that a second judicial review petition of Veloso’s case was filed Friday after the first was rejected by the Supreme Court in March.
The deputy head of the National Commission on Violence Against Women told the Kompas news website that the petition would include new evidence showing that Veloso had been a victim of human trafficking.
Yuniyanti Chuzaifah said Veloso, a single mother who sought work in Malaysia as a maid, had unknowingly been made to carry a bag containing 2.6 kilograms of heroin to Indonesia in April 2010.
Chozaifah added that the trial process had also been unfair as Veloso -- who speaks Tagalog -- had been provided with a translator who was a university student rather than a professional.
The head of the commission of Women, which has sent letters to Indonesian President Joko Widodo twice this month requesting more attention to the case, said Veloso fit the profile of a human trafficking target since she comes from poor family, is single mother, and had worked as a migrant worker in Dubai.
"Executing a drug courier will not stop this crime," said Azriana, who like many Indonesians uses only one name. "On the contrary, it will make courier recruitment increase because the main actor is free, while the courier will face firing squad."
The prisoners who are set to be executed alongside Veloso are: Martin Anderson from Ghana, Zainal Abidin (Indonesia), Rodrigo Gularte (Brazil), Serge Areski Atlaoi (France), and Raheem Agbajee Salami, Okwudili Oyatanze and Sylvester Obiekwe Nwolise (Nigeria, although Salami was travelling on a Spanish passport), Martin Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran from Australia