Australia rages at death row inmates’ pics

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Australia has reacted strongly to pictures taken aboard a flight taking two Australian convicts to be executed on an Indonesian island.

On Wednesday, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were flown from the Indonesian resort island of Bali to Nusakambangan Island, where the death sentence is to be carried out by the firing squad.

The Australian convicts were arrested in 2005 and sentenced to death a year later for trying to smuggle 8.3 kilograms of heroin out of Bali into Australia.

Canberra’s reaction came after pictures emerged from the Wednesday trip, one showing a smiling police chief commissioner apparently posing with his hand on the back of a seated Chan (seen immediately below).

Treasurer Joe Hockey also noted, “It was incredibly insensitive, it’s almost macabre the way this has been handled by the Indonesian authorities.”

Australia on Thursday proposed a prisoner swap in a bid to save the convicts, but it was rejected by Jakarta which said the men had “poisoned our nation.”

The prisoners are the only members of the dismantled Bali Nine drug-smuggling ring on death row. The remaining Bali Nine members were sentenced to life or 20 years in prison.

Jakarta and Canberra have been at loggerheads over the fate of the two prisoners, with Canberra warning of a severe diplomatic response, including a ban on traveling to Indonesia if Jakarta proceeds with the executions.

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