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Indonesia defends death penalty for Australian drug runners

[JURIST] Indonesia [JURIST news archive] on Wednesday defended death sentences handed down [Melbourne Age report] earlier this week against two Australians convicted for attempting to smuggle narcotics out of the country. An Indonesian foreign ministry spokesman said the sentences were in line with Indonesian law and that they should be respected by others. Australia had said it would seek clemency [ABC Australia report] after Andrew Chan, 22, and Myuran, 24, were sentenced Tuesday by a Bali court for working as drug mules. Australian Prime Minister John Howard [official profile] said, however, that his government would wait [interview transcript] for the appeals process to finish before lobbying for any change.

In all, nine Australians were tried in Indonesia on drug offenses, and the other seven received life sentences. Indonesia has imposed the death sentence on more than 25 foreigners for drug trafficking. An Australian national was controversially put to death [JURIST report] by Singapore in December 2005 after being convicted on drug trafficking charges. Xinhuanet has more.

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