Bali Nine executions in the wilderness

By Greg Ansley

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will die grim, lonely deaths if their appeals to live are refused.

Chan, 22, and Sukumaran, 24, were sentenced to death on Tuesday after being convicted as the leaders of the Bali Nine drug ring that last year tried to smuggle 8.3kg of heroin through Bali's Denpasar airport strapped to the bodies of four "mules".

The other seven members of the ring have been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Chan and Sukumaran will be taken from their cells with the minimum of warning, driven to a deserted beach or jungle clearing and shot without ceremony by a firing squad.

No one will be told in advance of the date or time of their executions.

This pattern of execution was confirmed by the deaths of the last three drug runners to be shot in Indonesia.

Lawyers for Ayodhya Prasad Chaubey, an Indian convicted of heroin trafficking, were denied access to their client in the week before his execution and were refused a date for his death. Amnesty International says he was taken to a field on the outskirts of the city of Medan at about 2.30am on August 5, 2004, and shot.

Only after his death was the execution announced.

His Thai co-conspirators, Saelow Praserts and Namsong Sirilak, suffered similar fates, although Namsong was allowed to telephone her 12-year-old child in Thailand.

Australian reporters have been told that the deaths of Chan and Sukumaran will be the same, carried out by a squad of 10 men drawn from a paramilitary police unit called the Mobile Brigade.

Under strict secrecy demanded by Indonesian law, they will be told several days in advance and allowed to see close family or friends, or to make final telephone calls.

But the times and places of their execution will not be disclosed.

Decoy convoys could be used to fool relatives or the media staking out the prison on the day of execution.

Bagus Wahyono, who selects the execution squads after watching them shooting dolls, told the Sydney Morning Herald only two rifles, selected at random, will have live rounds.

The others will fire blanks to ease individual consciences.

The only other witnesses will be a religious representative, a doctor and one of the trial prosecutors.

The newspaper said Chan and Sukumaran will be dressed in white aprons with a red cross marking their hearts, and would be handcuffed to a post, tree or chair.

A hood will be drawn over the heads, and the order to fire given.

A final shot to the heart or temple may be required.

The last three of the Bali Nine to be sentenced - Matthew Norman, Si Yi Chen and Tan Nguyen - were all handed life sentences yesterday.

Norman's mother Robyn Davies, who pleaded for her son to be treated well, said the ruling was just a step off the worst possible result.

"It's better than being shot I suppose," she said.

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