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Guy Pearce Robert Walker
Bali Nine

'I'm an Australian and I stand for mercy': Celebrities urge Tony Abbott to do more to save execution pair

One man married his girlfriend while in prison yesterday. He said it was his final wish.

CELEBRITIES INCLUDING OSCAR winner Geoffrey Rush released a video today urging Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to fly to Indonesia to help save two citizens facing execution, forcing the government to defend its tactics.

“Bali Nine” drug traffickers Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan could face the firing squad within hours, along with others from Brazil, Nigeria, the Philippines and an Indonesian prisoner.

Australia, Indonesia’s close neighbour, has mounted a sustained diplomatic campaign to try to stop them being killed, but it appears to be in vain.

Firing Squad

The Indonesian attorney general’s office on Monday said the executions would take place this week, without confirming a date.

But Australian media have published photos of crosses prepared by a mortician that will be used to mark Chan and Sukumaran’s coffins, inscribed with the date 29.04.2015.

Dozens of celebrities led by Australian acting luminaries Rush, Joel Edgerton, Guy Pearce, Deborah Mailman and Bryan Brown urged Abbott to do more in a video, #SaveOurBoys, uploaded to YouTube.

Robert Walker / YouTube

“I’m an Australian and I stand for mercy,” said Oscar winner Rush, a theme repeated by the other prominent actors, musicians and writers.

“Show some balls.”

Others ask: “Where are you Mr Abbott?” and urge him to do more to “bring our boys home”.

“Tony, if you had any courage and compassion you’d go to Indonesia and bring these boys home,” said actor and writer Brendan Cowell. “Show some balls.”

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who has been spearheading the bid to save the men, said expert advice warned against a prime ministerial trip to Indonesia.

“Clearly, if travelling to Indonesia would make a difference, we would have gone there,” she said.

Indonesia Executions Tatan Syuflana Tatan Syuflana

“We take the very best advice from our people in Indonesia, who are in Jakarta, who are part of a high-level sustained campaign to seek a stay of execution.”

Bishop, who spoke to Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi on Sunday, said she has now received a letter from her offering little hope.

“While they are still alive there is still hope. I will continue to advocate all throughout today,” Bishop told reporters today.

“I did send another letter to Foreign Minister Marsudi. I received a response from her but it didn’t contain any information that may indicate a change of view.”

Australia argues that the men should not be shot while legal avenues are still open, including a judicial commission investigation into alleged corruption during their trial in 2006 after new claims surfaced in the media.

Prime Minister

Abbott is currently travelling back to Australia after attending commemorations marking the centenary of the World War I Gallipoli campaign in Turkey, in which more than 8,000 Australians died.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has taken a hard line against drug offenders and has not been swayed by Australia’s pleas for mercy, saying his country was facing an “emergency” due to rising narcotics use.

Indonesia Executions Brintha Sukumaran,center, sisters of Myuran Sukumaran an Australian death row prisoners cries upon arrival at Wijayapura ferry port to cross to the prison island of Nusakambangan. Tatan Syuflana Tatan Syuflana

Family members wailed in grief during last their visits to their loved ones.

Relatives of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan arrived at Nusakambangan prison calling for mercy for their loved ones, with Sukumaran’s sister collapsing in grief.

Chan, who like Sukumaran is in his 30s, married his Indonesian girlfriend in a jailhouse ceremony with family and friends on Nusakambangan on Monday, his final wish.

Chan and Sukumaran are among nine prisoners — eight of whom are foreign and one Indonesian — facing death after authorities gave them final notice of their executions at the weekend.

Indonesia Executions Ambulances carrying a coffin upon arrival at Wijayapura ferry port. Tatan Syuflana Tatan Syuflana

The families have been asked to say their final goodbyes this afternoon as signs indicated the death sentences would be carried out by early tomorrow.

An AFP reporter at Nusakambangan, the high-security prison where the convicts are awaiting their sentence, said ambulances carrying the empty white coffins had arrived.

The convicts, who have been held in isolation cells since the weekend, also include nationals from Brazil, the Philippines and Nigeria.

Read: Mother charged after allegedly locking her four children in a basement for 12 hours>

Read: Six Irish people have still not contacted home after Nepal earthquake>

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