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How Nine Condemned Prisoners Spent Their Final Hours

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were executed with six other people. This is what their final hours are thought to have looked like, and how they came to be here.

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Australian men Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran spent their final hours with their families before their execution overnight.

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After being given 72-hours official notice by Indonesian officials on Saturday evening, the men, along with six other condemned prisoners, were led to a clearing on Nusakambangan Island containing a series of small wooden posts, where they were to die.

In a nearby waiting area, the prisoners' families waited under a marquee that had been set up for them. It has been reported that they could hear the fatal shots.

Normally, prisoners are given a short period of time with a religious counsellor, but it's believed the two Australians were denied this right. As they waited, 12 men from the firing squad prepared their rifles five-to-ten metres away. A small black mark is made over the condemned prisoners' hearts, AFP reports.

Prisoners convicted of the same crime (like Chan and Sukumaran) were to be killed together, but separately from the rest of the group. Each firing squad member's gun is loaded with one round, but not all of the rounds will be live so that it's never known whose bullet was the fatal one.

It can take some time for the prisoners to die.

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In the past, some prisoners have been strapped to the posts or to a wooden board, while others have been allowed to move more freely. Prisoners have their hands and feet bound, can stand, sit or kneel, and are given the option of wearing a blindfold when they are shot.

In recent executions, it has taken several minutes for prisoners to die, News Corp reports. In the most recent group to be executed in Indonesia earlier this year, the shortest period from shooting until death was six minutes.

After the shooting, a doctor inspects the prisoners, and any survivors are shot once in the head with a handgun by the firing squad's commanding officer.

Myuran Sukumaran refused the offer of a blindfold.

Sonny Tumbelaka / Getty Images

“Myuran always said to me that he would never take this lying down, that he would stare them down, that no one would cover his eyes, that he would face it with dignity,” Sukumaran's mentor, artist Ben Quilty told 2GB Radio at the weekend.

Chan and Sukumaran were not the only people condemned to die.

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The men, who were sentenced to death in 2006 for their role as ringleaders of a drug syndicate which attempted to smuggle 8.3kg of heroin into Australia in 2005, were executed along with six other people. A seventh person was given a last minute reprieve.2


Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, Philippines

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Veloso, aged 30, is a mother-of-two and the only woman condemned to die. The former housemaid was arrested with 2.6kg of heroin at Adisucipto International airport in Yogyakarta in 2010.

She was sentenced to death in 2010 and had her appeal for clemency rejected by Indonesian President Joko Widodo in March this year. It's not yet known why Veloso was not executed.

Serge Areski Atlaoui, France

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Atlaoui, 51, was arrested on November 11, 2005 and sentenced to death in 2007 for running a large drugs factory. He was arrested in possession of 138.6kg of methamphetamine, 290kg of ketamine and 316 drums of a precursor chemical.

He was sentenced to life in prison in 2006 but the punishment was upgraded to death in 2007.

Rodrigo Gularte, Brazil

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Gularte, 42, was arrested at Jakarta airport in 2005 while attempting to smuggle 19kg of heroin into Indonesia in a surfboard.

He has been diagnosed with mental illness on more than one occasion. He has been confirmed by Indonesian authorities as suffering from schizophrenia. He also reportedly has lived with bipolar disorder and cerebral dysrhythmia, which may cause a sufferer to commit involuntary acts.

In January, Brazil withdrew its ambassador to Indonesia after another Brazilian citizen was executed on drugs offences.

Martin Anderson, Ghana

Tatan Syuflana / AP

Anderson, a Ghanaian national, was sentenced to death in 2004 after he was arrested in possession of 50 grams of heroin - worth around $2500 today.

Only Amnesty International has made any appeals on Anderson's behalf. Ghana has no consular representation in Indonesia and no official from Anderson's home nation has visited him in jail.


Raheem Salahi, Nigeria


Salahi has been in jail since he was arrested in Java in 1999 trying to smuggle 5.2kg of heroin. He was originally sentenced to life in prison, but prosecutors appealed and his sentence was upgraded to death in 2006.

President Jokowi rejected his appeal for clemency earlier this year.

Zainal Abidin, Indonesia

Abidin was arrested in his Sumatra home in possession of 58.7kg of marijuana in 2000. He was given a life sentence for drug trafficking, which was also upgraded to death on appeal in 2001.

Syofial (alias Iyen bin Azwar), Harun bin Ajis & Sargawi (alias Ali bin Sanusi)

The three Indonesian nationals are the only ones among the condemned who will be executed for non-drug related crimes. They were sentenced to death in 2001 for the pre-meditated rape and murder of seven people from an indigenous Kubu tribe on the Sumatran coast.