An Indonesian firing squad executed eight convicted drug-traffickers from several countries on Tuesday, prompting Australia to recall its envoy to Jakarta and bringing an angry reaction from Brazil.
The leaders of Australia and Brazil had made personal appeals for clemency for their citizens among the group, raising the stakes for Indonesia's new president, Joko Widodo, who has stepped up the pace of executions since coming to office.
Australia has deep commercial and political ties with its big neighbor, while Brazil has a $5 billion trade surplus with Southeast Asia's biggest economy. Brazil is at risk of losing a major military export deal to Indonesia over the executions row.
We respect Indonesia's sovereignty but we do deplore what's been done and this cannot be simply business as usual, Prime Minister Tony Abbott told reporters in Canberra, adding that ambassador Paul Gibson would return to Australia by the end of the week.
I want to stress that this is a very important relationship between Australia and Indonesia but it has suffered as a result of what's been done over the last few hours.
Australians Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan were executed by firing squad along with six other drug convicts from several countries shortly after midnight.
Charlie Burrows, religious counselor to the Brazilian convict, was with the prisoners before the execution and he confirmed to reporters that they were shot dead.
Recalling an ambassador is a step rarely taken by Australia, and never previously taken over a prisoner execution. Still, PM Abbott cautioned against a trade or tourism boycott, as the hashtag #boycottIndonesia trended on twitter.
The Brazilian government said in a statement that it was shocked by the news, which marked the second execution of a Brazilian in Indonesia in three months despite President Dilma Rousseff's personal humanitarian appeals.
Brazil's foreign ministry said it was evaluating ties with Indonesia before deciding what action to take, but said it had no plans at present to replace its former ambassador in Jakarta who had been recalled after the first execution in January.
Given the lack of a satisfactory reply to our appeals, this has to be evaluated to decide what attitude we will adopt towards Indonesia from now on, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergio Franca Danese told reporters.
Amnesty International said the executions were utterly reprehensible.
The execution of eight people in Indonesia today shows complete disregard for due process and human rights safeguards, it said in a statement.
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Perhaps a little less tolerance to the drug smuggling trade and a clear message to smugglers is just what is needed.Apr 29th, 2015 - 10:46 am 0
......yes - because the American led war on drugs over the last 40 years has been a great success. Shooting these guys dead will obviously put an end to the trade entirely.Apr 29th, 2015 - 10:50 am 0
Nobody is going to miss these scumbags..Apr 29th, 2015 - 11:59 am 0