Australia has recalled its ambassador from Indonesia after two Australian men were executed for drug smuggling. Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were among eight people from several countries executed by firing squad shortly after midnight on Wednesday on the prison island of Nusakambangan.
Brazil’s government also expressed its “deep dismay” at the execution of one of its citizens, Rodrigo Gularte. But the execution of a Philippine woman was called off at the last minute. Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso was spared after her government appealed to Indonesia, saying a woman she had accused of planting drugs on her had handed herself in.
Australia had mounted a lengthy diplomatic campaign to save Chan and Sukumaran, convicted in 2006 of being the ringleaders of a group of Australian heroin traffickers known as the Bali Nine.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Tuesday that the executions were “both cruel and unnecessary,”
saying Chan and Sukumaran had been “fully rehabilitated” while in prison. “We respect Indonesia’s sovereignty but we do deplore what’s been done and this cannot be simply business as usual,” he said.
“For that reason, once all the courtesies have been extended to the Chan and Sukumaran families our ambassador will be withdrawn for consultations.”
Indonesia is an important country to Australia, the BBC’s Jon Donnison says, with the two working closely together on asylum seekers and terrorism issues.
This is the first time Australia has recalled an ambassador from Indonesia, and its first ever recall over the execution of one of its citizens abroad. Indonesian Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo defended the executions, saying his country was fighting a “war” on drugs.