Five things about Indonesia's infamous execution island
As a new day dawned on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, two convicted Australian drug smugglers were taken to the island of Nusakambangan for their execution.
Early on Wednesday morning, Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31 left Kerobokan Prison in an armoured van with a police escort before dawn and were taken to Bali’s Denpasar airport for the flight to Java and then a boat ride to the island of Nusakambangan, where executions are carried out.
File photo of Andrew Chan (left) and Myuran Sukumaran (right). Photo: AFP
The whole episode has ratcheted up diplomatic tensions between Australia and Indonesia following repeated pleas of mercy, including from Prime Minister Tony Abbott for the pair.
While Indonesian officials did not say when the execution will be carried out, but the transfer indicates it is imminent, reported AFP.
It has put the island of Nusakambangan on the international radar.
Here some facts about the island that New York Times has dubbed Indonesia's Alcatraz
- It was where the Bali bombers were imprisoned and executed.
Its more famous inmates included the three men convicted of carrying out the 2002 Bali bombings.
Imam Samudra, Amrozi and Mukhlas were convicted of the terrorist attack which took the lives of 202 people on the resort island of Bali in 2002.
They were sentenced to death by an Indonesian court in 2003 and after several years of failed appeals, they were executed by the firing squad in 2008.
- It is smaller than Singapore
Photo: Screengrab Google map
At 121sq km, the island is far smaller than Singapore's 716sq km.
- It has seven jailhouses
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the island has seven jailhouses, three of which are super maximum security prisons reserved for "high risk inmates".
The jailhouses are 4km apart from each other and each are heavily guarded with high walls separating each complex.
- The island does have locals inhabitants, all 3,000 of them
The island is not just home to prisoners.
Australia's ABC News reported that the island is home to about 3,000 locals.
- It was only recently that the island was open to tourists
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, spokesman for Indonesia's Justice and Human Rights Ministry, Mr Akbar Hadiprabowo, said the island was first classified as a prison in 1922.
It was only in 1995 that the southern part of the island was opened to tourists, and even then, visitors need special permission from the ministry to travel there.
Source: Daily Telegraph, Jakarta Post, Wall Street Journal