Myuran Sukumaran’s sister is carried through the crowd as his family arrive in Cilacap (ABC News)
There were chaotic scenes at the Indonesian port of Cilacap this morning as the families of Australian drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran arrived for what is expected to be their final visit to the condemned men.
Chan, Sukumaran and seven other death row criminals have entered what could be the last day of their lives, with the 72-hour notification period expiring at midnight.
Family and friends embarked at Cilacap for the first trip to the Nusakambangan prison island today, assuming they may never see the prisoners alive again.
Media mobbed the families and Sukumaran’s sister had to be carried through as cameras pressed in on all sides.
Shortly afterwards an ambulance carrying nine coffins arrived at the ferry terminal for the short trip to the island.
Those close to Chan and Sukumaran have told the ABC they fear the men will be shot by firing squad in the early hours of tomorrow morning.
Coffins have been brought to the port at Cilacap, in preparation for the executions. (ABC News: Greg Jennett)
Indonesian attorney-general Muhammad Prasetyo is expected to make an announcement on the timing of the executions later today.
The impending executions prompted a group of Australian actors to make a last-ditch bid for clemency.
After a prison visit yesterday Sukumaran’s brother, Chintu, urged Indonesian president Joko Widodo to show mercy.
“I spent the last five hours watching young children playing with their parents and I ask the president to not make orphans out of children, widows,” he said.
“There are family members just crying inside the prison as we count down the hours.
“Please step up and show mercy.”
A spokesman for the Indonesian attorney-general, Tony Spontana, said the executions would most likely take place this week.
“I have the feeling that it will happen this week because the preparation is 100 per cent ready,” he said.
Mr Prasetyo said it was not necessary for him to go to the president to advise when the executions would take place, but he was considering it.
One of Chan and Sukumaran’s lawyers, Julian McMahon, said that “realistically, there’s not much hope”.
“In many legal systems if someone was making allegations … about the sentencing process being affected by people allegedly seeking bribes and so on culminating in a death penalty, then you wouldn’t think of any execution would proceed. But that’s the current state of play,” he said.
“Looking around, I saw most of the people who are going to be executed today … and it’s just shameful.
“To kill anybody is, I think, a ridiculous thing to do.”
Another lawyer for the pair, Peter Morrisey, said he still hoped the Indonesian government had a change of heart.
“The only thing we derive some comfort from is they said they were going to do it back at the start of February,” he said.
“And we’re here now and we fought and fought and fought. What we’re doing is really pleading as friends that these boys were shocking drug traffickers when they got caught. They’ve become good people and they’re worth saving.”
Chan marries as preparation for executions are finalised
Yesterday Chan married fiancee Febyanti Herewila in a ceremony on Nusakambangan.
Michael Chan said his brother had been celebrating on Monday night with his new wife.
“They have had a celebration inside the prison this afternoon, with close family and friends,” he said.
“It was an enjoyable moment. We would just like to celebrate that with him tomorrow as well.
“It’s tough times, but happy times at the same time.
Febyanti Herewila (L) speaking to Australian Consul General Majell Hind (C) at the Nusakambangan port in Cilacap.
“So hopefully the president will still show some compassion, some mercy so these two young people can carry on with their lives.”
On Monday, Sukumaran again indicated he expected to face the firing squad within days, signing another self-portrait with a telling inscription.
The back of the portrait bears Sukumaran’s signature, the date and the words: “‘The second last day’ Myuran Sukumaran, Besi Prison, Nusakambangan.”
“I fear that on Wednesday morning they will be executed,” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said.
“Indonesia has accomplished what penal systems around the world aspire to do, and that is rehabilitate drug offenders.
“I’m not asking the Indonesian government to do anything other than it asks other countries in relation to Indonesian citizens who face death row overseas, including for serious drug offences.”
Greens leader Christine Milne said Indonesia’s international standing would be affected if it went ahead with the executions.
“It’s going to be a very testing time, but the appeal I would have with President Widodo is that Indonesia’s standing in the world will fall if they go ahead with these executions,” she said.
Sukumaran’s self-portrait has a telling inscription written on the back. (ABC: George Roberts)