Emotional Bishop says Bali Nine pair should not pay with their lives

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has made an emotional statement in Parliament pleading for a stay of execution for two Australians facing execution for drug trafficking.​

Julie Bishop has moved a motion in Parliament in support of support of Bali Nine pair Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

Sukumaran and Chan have been on death row since 2006 after a failed attempt to import heroin into Australia in 2005 and are expected to be executed by firing squad before the end of the month. 

There have been widespread calls for mercy from the Indonesian government but so far president Joko Widodo has shown no sign of leniency.

Speaking in Parliament today, a visibly emotional Ms Bishop said the Australian government would continue to seek clemency for the pair and urged the Indonesian government to show mercy.

"This motion goes to the heart of what we believe will be a grave injustice against two Australian citizens facing execution in Indonesia," she said.

"Without doubt, Andrew and Myuran need to pay for their crimes with lengthy jail sentences but they should not need to pay with their lives."

She expressed disappointment that Indonesian authorities had given weight to a Triple J poll that indicated the majority of Australians supported the executions, saying she did not believe it represented the views of most Australians.

"I find it deeply discomforting to me to think that this out-of-context polling might be relied upon in Jakarta," she said.
Ms Bishop said Sukumaran and Chan had been model prisoners who had worked hard to improve the lives of others.

"I believe it is Indonesia that will lose the most from executing these two young men," she said.

"We urge the Indonesian government to show the same mercy to Andrew and Myuran that it seeks for its citizens in the same situation abroad."

"We must not give up hope and we will continue with our efforts to save the lives of Australian citizens Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran."

Tanya Plibersek speaks of husband's drug conviction

After Ms Bishop, Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek gave a powerful speech in Parliament in which she spoke of her husband's historical drug conviction.

"We need to have a principled and methodical approach to punishments of serious crime," Ms Plibersek said.  

"I perhaps have a particular view on remorse and redemption because of experiences in my own life.

"In 1988, my husband left prison after being charged and convicted of a similar crime to these young men.

"I imagine what would have happened if he had been caught in Thailand instead of in Australia where that crime was committed. I think about – I didn’t know him at the time, this is 30 years ago – what would the world have missed out on?

"They would have missed out on the three beautiful children we have had together. They would have missed out on a man who spent the rest of his life making amends for the crime that he committed.”

"I imagine what would have happened if he had been caught in Thailand instead of in Australia where that crime was committed."

She then went on to speak about her brother Phillip's violent death in Port Moresby in 1997.

“I know that if I had been the one making the decision about the punishment of the person who did that crime, I couldn’t have thought of a punishment bad enough,” she said.

“That’s why we don’t make decisions about punishment on the basis of how we feel but on the basis of universal, consistently-applied rules.

"I think it is important to say that when it comes to the death penalty, there has been for many years in Australia a bipartisan rejection of the death penalty."