Myuran Sukumaran is surrounded by masked security personnel upon arriving at Cilacap airport. Senior Commissioner Djoko Hari Utomo with Myuran Sukumaran. Photo: Kompas TV
Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten attended a dawn vigil for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran yesterday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
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The federal government has called the Indonesian ambassador to complain about the “lack of dignity” shown to Bali nine pair Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran during their transfer from Bali to Nusakambangan island, where they will be executed.
Photographs of a smiling police chief alongside the Australians on a plane during their transfer prompted the complaint, but a senior source said the complaint also referred to Indonesia’s excessive use of force, the military presence and “the lack of dignity that was shown” to the prisoners.
The source said Indonesia’s decision to surround Chan and Sukumaran with military-style security for the transfer had been perceived in Australia as a pointed, deliberate display of force.
Hundreds of masked and heavily armed security personnel took a handcuffed and shackled Chan and Sukumaran to Nusakambangan on Wednesday, shadowed by Sukhoi fighter jets equipped with missles.
On the same day, a Nigerian drug smuggler was transported in a small van.
Indonesian ambassador Bapak Nadjib Riphat Kesoema was telephoned by a senior official from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on Thursday to deliver the complaint, because he was in Perth.
He will be called in to DFAT to receive the complaint in person upon his return to Canberra.
The embassy in Jakarta is also lodging a complaint with the Indonesian government.
The police chief featured in the photographs, Senior Commissioner Djoko Hari Utomo, told Fairfax Media earlier on Thursday that he was trying to raise the spirits of the Australians and had no idea the photo was being taken.
“It was not a selfie moment,” he said.
He said he was patting the men’s shoulders and urging them to “Be tough, be strong, and keep going”.
Chan looked stunned in the photographs, which were leaked to local media.
Earlier on Thursday, a prisoner swap suggested by Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop in a last ditch bid to spare the lives of the Bali nine ringleaders was deemed “unthinkable” by Indonesia’s Attorney General.
And Defence minister Ryamizard Ryacudu even suggested Australia execute Indonesian drug smugglers.
Ms Bishop raised the prospect of a prisoner swap with her Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi on Tuesday.
The deal could involve three Indonesians in prison in Australia over their role in an infamous 1998 drug bust.
However Attorney-General H.M. Prasetyo said a prisoner swap was irrelevant to Indonesia’s plans to execute Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.
“What is certain is that it has never been done and is unthinkable,” he said.
“Other countries must obviously respect the Indonesian law enforcement.”
Mr Ryamizard told news website detik杭州龙凤419m: “If the Indonesians are drug smugglers just execute them too so it’s equal. If there was a swap the Indonesians would be executed here but there is no guarantee the Australians would receive the death penalty.”
The 10 condemned prisoners who have been earmarked for the next round of executions will be given 72 hours’ notice of their deaths.
Their families, lawyers and consular staff will be able to visit them until 6pm on the night of the executions, which typically take place just after midnight.
The condemned men will also be granted one last wish, such as the choice of a final meal, provided it is considered possible by the Indonesian prison authorities.
Chan and Sukumaran will be expatriated to Australia after their deaths.
Matius Arif Mirdjaja, a pastor and close friend of Chan’s who has travelled to Cilacap to see the men, was told he could not visit on Thursday.
He said on Tuesday he had visited Chan at Bali’s Kerobokan jail and told him to make sure he made contact with a senior priest on his arrival.
“[Chan replied] I’d be better accompanied by family. You’re family.” Arif said.
He said the prosecutor’s office in Cilacap was still waiting for the embassies and families to provide the names of their preferred religious counsellors.
Arif said Chan and Sukumaran had looked okay when he saw them on Tuesday.
Sukumaran was still preparing for an exhibition of his paintings to be held at the Hard Rock Cafe in Kuta on Saturday.
“Myuran was even joking with me saying, “You have to help with the exhibition.”
At that time they were unaware they would be transferred to Nusakambangan the following day.
Chan’s mother Helen and brother Michael and Raji, Chinthu and Brintha Sukumaran, Myuran’s mother and siblings have all arrived in Cilacap with other family members and supporters.
Arif said hope was not lost. “We will never say goodbye,” he said.