Just hours before their death by firing squad, Bali Nine ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran organised a special last meal of KFC fast food for their fellow condemned prisoners.
Australia said it will withdraw its ambassador to Indonesia after two of its citizens were among eight drug traffickers executed by the south-east Asian country, but was wary of escalating hostilities with its near neighbour despite a public outcry.
The executions by firing squad of the eight men — two Australians, four Nigerians, a Brazilian and an Indonesian — attracted wide international condemnation and intense Australian media coverage.
The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said given that Indonesia has asked for clemency for its own nationals facing execution in other countries, “it is incomprehensible why it absolutely refuses to grant clemency for lesser crimes on its own territory”.
However, there was unexpected joy in the Philippines, where the government won an 11th-hour stay of execution for a Philippine woman also on death row on a drug conviction. Australian prime minister Tony Abbott reacted swiftly, announcing that ambassador Paul Grigson would be recalled even before the executions of Sukumaran, 33, and Chan, 31, were officially confirmed.
Australia is angry that Sukumaran and Chan were executed despite having ongoing court appeals, and that Indonesian president Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo ignored evidence of their rehabilitation during their 10 years in prison before rejecting their clemency applications.
Foreign minister Julie Bishop did not rule out reducing Australia’s foreign aid to Indonesia. Australia gives about €430m a year to Indonesia.
In Manila, the stay of Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso’s execution sparked celebrations in a nation that has agonised in the past over executions and tragedies that befell poor Filipino workers abroad.
Meanwhile, a British grandmother on death row in Indonesia said she is “deeply saddened” by the “senseless, brutal deaths” of the two Australians.
Lindsay Sandiford, who is facing death by firing squad for drugs offences, said the men “touched the lives of a great many people” after helping to rehabilitate fellow prisoners.
She was sentenced to death in January 2013 in Bali after being convicted of trafficking cocaine, worth an estimated €2.2m.