Richard Branson.
Richard Branson.

Richard Branson speaks up on Bali Nine executions

ENTREPRENEUR Richard Branson has joined the chorus of calls for mercy for two Australians awaiting execution in Indonesia.

Bali Nine ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are awaiting a final execution order on Nusakambangan Island, for their parts in the heroin smuggling ring 10 years ago.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has so far refused to grant clemency from the death penalty for the pair.

Mr Branson told the ABC that treating drug issues as a health problem, rather than a criminal issue, helped lower the number of drug deaths.

The Global Commission on Drugs Policy member said he was even willing to go to Indonesia to argue the case for mercy directly with Mr Widodo.

"What we want to do is be helpful," Mr Branson told the ABC.

"All our research is evidence-based and we have studied different national approaches in great depth."