Australia recalls ambassador over Indonesia executions
In an exceptional move, Australia today recalled its Ambassador to Indonesia after two of its citizens were executed for drugs offences in the country, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott saying ties with Jakarta “cannot be simply business as usual”.
Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan have been killed by a firing squad in Indonesia yesterday.
Julie Bishop with Abbott said that the government had hoped that Indonesia would show mercy to these young men, who have worked hard since their arrests to rehabilitate themselves and improve the lives of other prisoners.
“Australia regards Indonesia’s supremacy, but intensely regrets that Indonesia could not extend the mercy it so often seeks for its own citizens,” the statement said.
It said, “Lengthy confinement terms and conditions would have been a appropriate penalty.”
The statement said, “We will eliminate our Ambassador for consultations once the men’s bodies have been returned to the Chan and Sukumaran families. Official visits will remain suspended.”
Bishop said she expected Paul Grigson, the ambassador, to return to Australia by the end of the week.
Abbott said, “Australia respects the Indonesian structure. We respect Indonesia’s sovereignty but we do deplore what’s been done and this cannot be simply business. For that reason, once all the generosity have been extended to the Chan and Sukumaran families our Ambassador will be withdrawn for consultations.”