Australia, EU, France issue joint statement urging Indonesia to cancel executions

JAKARTA (AFP) - Australia, the European Union and France urged Indonesia Tuesday not to go ahead with the execution of eight foreign drug convicts, just hours before they are expected to face the firing squad.

"The governments of Australia, France and the European Union call on President Widodo to halt the planned executions. It is not too late to change your mind," said the joint statement released by the Australian embassy in Jakarta.

President Joko Widodo has been determined to push ahead with the execution of the nine convicts, who include foreigners from Australia, Brazil, Nigeria and the Philippines as well as one Indonesian.

"In filing this petition, we ask Indonesia to reflect upon the impact on Indonesia's position in the world and its international reputation. We support Indonesia's efforts in obtaining clemency for its citizens abroad. Stopping this execution will help those efforts," the statement said.

"We fully respect the sovereignty of Indonesia. But we are against the death penalty in our country and abroad. The execution will not have a deterrent effect on drug-trafficking or stop others from becoming victims of drug abuse. Executing these prisoners now will not achieve anything."

The 11th-hour appeal came as Indonesia made final preparations to execute the drug convicts, with ambulances carrying coffins seen arriving at their prison, and relatives paying emotional last visits.