By Kanupriya Kapoor
CILACAP, Indonesia, – Nine drug traffickers met their families for what could be the final time at an Indonesian maximum security prison on Tuesday, after Jakarta rejected international pleas for clemency and ordered their executions to proceed, possibly within hours.
The death penalties imposed on eight foreigners and an Indonesian have been condemned by the United Nations, and strained ties between neighbours Australia and Indonesia.
Security at the prison was heightened and religious counsellors, doctors and the firing squad were alerted to start final preparations for the execution of the four Nigerians, two Australians, an Indonesian, a Brazilian and a Filipina.
“We’re hoping for a miracle,” Marites Veloso, the sister of death-row inmate Mary Jane Veloso of the Philippines, told reporters as she entered the prison for a final visit.