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Indonesian woman appeals for clemency

AAP logoAAP 26/07/2016 By Lauren Farrow and Heru Rahadi

A last-minute clemency appeal has been launched for an Indonesian woman believed to be facing the firing squad in the country's next round of executions, feared to be imminent.

The woman, known as MU or Merry Utami, was a poor woman who had been "manipulated" by a drug syndicate, when she smuggled 1.1 kilograms of heroin at Jakarta airport in October 2001, activists say.

The mother of two lost her appeal to overturn her death sentence in 2003.

On Saturday when she was transferred to the notorious Nuskambangan island prison, she received a copy of the decision of the judicial review into her case saying that her final legal pathway had failed.

The island is the same location where Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran faced the firing squad, along with six others, in April last year.

Holding a press conference in Jakarta, the women's rights group Komnas Perempuan said they had filed an emergency clemency request to President Joko Widodo on Tuesday while MU met with her family and a preacher at the prison.

Head of the organisation, Azriana, said MU should be granted a reprieve as her case highlighted how easily poor women in Indonesia fell prey to drug syndicates.

"Most women involved in drug syndicates come from poor family ... We need to postpone the death penalty to these poor women who are manipulated."

MU, Komnas Perempuan says, became a migrant worker in Taiwan in the late 1990s after divorcing from her husband who allegedly beat her.

When she returned to Indonesia, they alleged she became embroiled in a relationship with a man named "Jerry", who organised for her to go to Nepal. Here she collected a package which she brought back to Jakarta on October 31, 2001.

"These kind of women are innocent. MU was excited ... her boyfriend promised to marry her. In reality once she got caught, that was the end (of their relationship)," Adriana Venny from the organisation added.

The comments come amid increasing signs in Indonesia that the next round of executions could be carried out as early as this week.

Local undertaker Suhendro Putro - who prepared coffins for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran - told AAP on Monday that he was given directions to be "ready" to bathe the bodies of more death row prisoners.

However, the Attorney General Office has yet to announce how many people will be executed or when.

They have previously said they only wanted to give the required three days' notice in order to avoid the "soap opera" that surrounded last year's executions, which drew widespread condemnation from the international community.

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