Eight convicted drug smugglers were executed by firing squad in Indonesia Wednesday morning. The executions took place in Besi prison on the island of Nusakambangan.
A ninth execution, a woman from the Philippines, was postponed at the last minute.
Among those killed this morning were Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. The men’s families were allowed to see them for the last time before they died.
Australia had vocally appealed to Indonesia to delay the executions citing alleged flaws in the Indonesian legal process.
The executed also include Nigerian nationals, a Brazilian and an Indonesian.
Relatives were visibly distressed and one’s sister collapsed and had to be carried to the prison.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had strongly urged Indonesia to delay the execution of its two nationals until a corruption investigation into their case was complete.
Indonesia has some of the toughest drug laws in the world and ended a four-year moratorium on executions in 2013 despite international condemnation.
It claims it takes a hard line because of the country’s own drugs problem – 33 Indonesians die every day as a result of drugs, according to Indonesia’s National Narcotics Agency.
The policy reversal goes against the international trend of abolishing the death penalty, which is viewed as inhuman and vindictive. It’s also shown to be an ineffective tool in crime prevention.