Australian trafficker marries before Indonesia execution

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This file photo taken on March 11, 2015 shows Febyanti Herewila (left), the girlfriend of Australian death row prisoner Andrew Chan, speaking to Australian Consul General Majell Hind (center) at the Nusakambangan port in Cilacap where officials and visitors ride the ferry to visit Nusakambangan maximum security prison island. AFP PHOTO

This file photo taken on March 11, 2015 shows Febyanti Herewila (left), the girlfriend of Australian death row prisoner Andrew Chan, speaking to Australian Consul General Majell Hind (center) at the Nusakambangan port in Cilacap where officials and visitors ride the ferry to visit Nusakambangan maximum security prison island. AFP PHOTO

CILACAP, Indonesia: An Australian drug trafficker married his girlfriend Monday on the Indonesian prison island where he is set to be executed soon, his brother said, urging the country’s president to show compassion to the newlyweds.

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Andrew Chan, 31, married his Indonesian girlfriend Febyanti Herewila in a ceremony on Nusakambangan Island, home to several high-security prisons, his brother Michael said.

He could be put to death by firing squad as soon as Tuesday, along with seven other foreign drug convicts, after authorities at the weekend gave then formal notice of their executions.

“We’ve had a special day today,” Michael Chan said as he announced the marriage after returning from a visit to Nusakambangan. “We’ve celebrated with some family and close friends.

“Hopefully the president will show some compassion, some mercy, so these two young people can carry on with their lives.

“It’s in the president’s hands.”

Chan met his future wife several years ago when Herewila, a pastor, began helping inmates in the jail where the Australian was imprisoned.

Chan and fellow Australian Myuran Sukumaran, both among the group facing imminent execution, are ringleaders of the so-called “Bali Nine” heroin-smuggling gang and were sentenced to death in 2006.

Australia has mounted a diplomatic campaign to save the pair but President Joko Widodo has vowed there will be no clemency for drug traffickers on death row in Indonesia.

He says the country faces an emergency due to rising narcotics use.

AFP

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