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Anger, grief flows for executed Australian

Michael Chan (left), brother of Australian death row inmate Andrew Chan accompanies Chinthu Sukumaran, brother of Australian drug convict and death row prisoner Myuran Sukumaran, as he carries a self-portrait painting made by his brother upon arrival at the Nusakambangan port in Cilacap after making their final visit to Nusakambangan maximum security prison island on Tuesday.. AFP photo/Romeo Gacad

Michael Chan (left), brother of Australian death row inmate Andrew Chan accompanies Chinthu Sukumaran, brother of Australian drug convict and death row prisoner Myuran Sukumaran, as he carries a self-portrait painting made by his brother upon arrival at the Nusakambangan port in Cilacap after making their final visit to Nusakambangan maximum security prison island on Tuesday.. AFP photo/Romeo Gacad

Brisbane [AAP]

The devastated brother Andrew Chan has vented his anger at Indonesia for executing him alongside fellow Bali Nine ringleader Myuran Sukumaran.

Michael Chan has expressed his utter devastation at the loss of his little brother, and had raw words of anger for the country that rejected years of appeals by Australia to spare the men.

‘I have just lost a courageous brother to a flawed Indonesian legal system. I miss you already RIP my Little Brother,’ he tweeted, soon after the men were executed on the prison island of Nusakambangan early on Wednesday.

The pair and six others were put before a firing squad. A ninth prisoner who was scheduled to die, Mary Jane Veloso, was spared at the last moment.

The futility of years of legal appeals and challenges was evident in the words of Chan and Sukumaran’s Indonesian lawyer Todung Mulya Lubis, who tweeted: ‘I am sorry. I failed. I lost.’

Australia is now left to consider how it will formally express its anger at the Indonesian president’s steadfast refusal to act on its appeals for clemency.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Prime Minister Tony Abbott are expected to address the media on Wednesday morning, when it may become clearer what formal protest action they will take.

Ms Bishop has made little effort in recent days to conceal her distaste for Indonesia’s actions, and how it’s treated the families of the men, accusing it of failing to afford them the dignity they deserved in a time of unspeakable grief.

Amnesty International condemned the executions as a cruel, senseless and abhorrent act of state-sanctioned murder.

‘Despite promising steps away from the death penalty prior to 2013 and four years without any executions, Indonesia’s resumption of this cruel and inhuman punishment has put them well out of step with the rest of the world,’ Amnesty campaigner and human rights lawyer Diana Sayed said in a statement.

Australian politicians have also begun to express their anger at Indonesia’s actions.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten said Australia was deeply hurt by Jakarta’s decision to ignore its appeals, and it should expect consequences.

‘Indonesia’s actions demand a strong response from the Australian government,’ he said, adding Jakarta had robbed two young men of their lives and two of the best examples of its ability to reform prisoners.

Other politicians have also expressed their revulsion at the executions.

‘There are few greater displays of abuse of State power and regressive thinking than the death penalty. #RIP,’ parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs Steve Ciobo tweeted.

Opposition frontbencher Tony Burke said ‘Lives lost. Nothing gained. #IStandForMercy’.

Fellow federal Labor MP Anthony Albanese wrote: ‘RIP Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran – a tragic loss of human life on a very sad day.’

The two Australians and six others were shot dead at 12.25am (0325 AEST) on the island of Nusakambangan on Wednesday.

Mary Jane Veloso, the former domestic worker from the Philippines, was given a last minute stay of execution after a person claiming to have recruited her for a drug syndicate came forward in her home country.

Lindsay Sandiford, a British national jailed at Kerobokan, says Sukumaran and Chan touched many lives in their time there.

Chan had become a close friend, she said, after counselling her through difficult times when she was sentenced in 2013.

‘Many things have been said about whether Andrew and Myuran deserved to die for their crimes,’ she said in a statement through her lawyers.

‘I didn’t know those men at the time they committed those crimes 10 years ago.

‘What I can say is that the Andrew and Myuran I knew were men who did good and touched the lives of a great many people, including myself.’

 


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