Bali: The brother of condemned Bali nine drugs smuggler Andrew Chan has made a fresh appeal on Indonesian television for mercy for his brother – and this time the interview was played in full and subtitled so locals could understand his message.
The first television appearance on Indonesian TV from the families of Chan and Myuran Sukumaran was cut to just 45 seconds, broadcast once and not translated, despite the recording of a 15-minute interview.
Addressing Indonesian president Joko Widodo, Michael Chan told TV One: "We are very sorry for this situation ... he has brought a lot of unnecessary shame to the Indonesian people and the country
"Please give him a second chance because [his] work in the prison is rehabilitating people and this has all happened because the Indonesian government and Indonesian officials have let the two boys in the last 10 years work on these projects."
In the five-minute broadcast on the popular news channel, Mr Chan listed the projects Chan and Sukumaran had run, including painting, first aid, cooking and jewelry classes, as well as counselling programs.
He also alluded to the fact that the heroin the men had organised to smuggle from Denpasar Airport strapped to the bodies of drug mules was destined for Australia, not Indonesia.
"They never intended to hurt the people of Indonesia," he said.
The fight for public support
The planned execution of Chan and Sukumaran along with eight other drug felons has captured the attention of Indonesians but has been caught up in a nationalist fervour and fears of a drug emergency gripping the country.
Five of the six people executed in January were foreigners, while nine of the 10 slated to be killed next are also from other nationalities. The prioritising of foreigners comes despite almost half of the 64 drug felons on death row being Indonesians.
The details of the case of Chan and Sukumaran are poorly understood by Indonesians – their rehabilitation, the fact the drugs were being taken to Australia and the role of the Australian Federal Police in tipping off Indonesian police about their activities are largely unknown.
The Australians received a fillip when Jakarta's governor and Mr Joko's close political ally asuki Tjahaja Purnama – known as Ahok – said on the weekend he believed reformed drug felons should have the death penalty commuted to life imprisonment without remission.
"Let he who lives in prison and becomes a good person guide someone who just enters the prison to be a good person too", he said. "So there is one life that can be used to make another realise his mistakes. This is better than executing him", Mr Basuki said.
But any optimism generated by Mr Basuki's remarks were dashed with Mr Joko gave a fresh account of his conversation with prime minister Tony Abbott, which the Australian leader had said led him to believe his Indonesian counterpart was "carefully considering Indonesia's position" on the executions.
However Mr Joko said he merely expressed that he understood Australia's position.
"I don't know what his interpretation of what I said was," he was quoted as saying in newswire detik.com.
"The words may be soft but look at my actions."