Foreign Minister Julie Bishop addresses Bali Nine backlash

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has accused the Opposition of taking a cheap shot at the Government following the executions of the Bali Nine ringleaders.

Labor wants to know why the government is no longer directing federal police to consider the death penalty when it shares information with other agencies.

As pressure mounts on the Australian Federal Police to explain its role in tipping off Indonesia about the Bali Nine in 2005, Labor has written to the coalition demanding answers about dumping the death penalty requirement in ministerial directions.

Opposition justice spokesman David Feeney told ABC radio on Thursday the government must ensure Australians are not being put at risk of being subjected to the death penalty, following the executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

A parliamentary foreign affairs committee will seek a meeting with Australia's ambassador to Indonesia, Paul Grigson, upon his return to Canberra.

The Australian Federal Police's role in tipping off their Indonesian counterparts to the Bali Nine drug ring is also likely to be re-examined at upcoming Senate estimates hearings after the May federal budget.

Government Whip Andrew Nikolic said police guidelines had been reviewed under the previous government.

"They've been applied consistently ever since," he told ABC radio.

Speaking to the media in Sydney Ms Bishop also expressed her concern over the way the Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran's families have been treated.

She stressed the importance for Australia to be able to have discussions about the death penalty with other countries.

And said she did not believe that the death penalty is a deterrent to the drug trade.

Executions spark international anger

Indonesia has staunchly defended the executions as a vital front of its "war" on drugs, as testimony emerged of how the condemned men went singing to their deaths.

The condemned men reportedly all refused blindfolds and sang hymns, among them "Amazing Grace", as they went to face the firing squad in a jungle clearing, according to a pastor who was with them.

Brazil expressed "deep regret" at the execution of its national, who was mentally ill according to his family, and said it was weighing its next move.

Indonesian Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo stressed a reprieve for convicted smuggler Mary Jane Velosoit - which is being hailed in the Philippines as a miracle and a gift from God - was only a "postponement" to allow time for police investigations.

He added: "We are fighting a war against horrible drug crimes that threaten our nation's survival.

"I would like to say that an execution is not a pleasant thing. It is not a fun job.

"But we must do it in order to save the nation from the danger of drugs. We are not making enemies of countries from where those executed came. What we are fighting against is drug-related crimes."

Prasetyo also played down Australia's decision to recall its ambassador, describing it as a "temporary reaction", while Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi stressed Jakarta's desire to "continue having good relations" with one of its most important trading partners.

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan and Foreign Minister Aminu Wali said in a statement they had made "spirited appeals for clemency", for the lives of their four nationals, most recently at an Asian-African summit in the Indonesian capital Jakarta last week.

There were already signs of fallout with former Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono cancelling a trip to Perth, citing concern about reaction to the executions.

The European Union meanwhile expressed its "dismay" and called for a moratorium on further executions in the country. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon echoed the sentiment, saying the death penalty "has no place in the 21st century".

Jakarta stocks closed down 2.34 percent, due in part to the effect of the death sentences on investor sentiment.

The US has refused to wade into the growing tensions with a US State Department official repeatedly dodged questions on the issue at a press conference in Washington DC on Wednesday.

"We don't have much to say on this other than we're aware that they have executed eight foreign citizens convicted of drug trafficking," Marie Harf, acting spokesperson for the State Department, told reporters.

"As we've said, none of these eight were American citizens."

In a follow-up question about what the dispute between Australia and Indonesia could do to heighten tensions in the region, Harf again declined comment.

"Well, I'll certainly let the Australians speak to how they'll react here, and we certainly hope nothing raises tensions, of course," Harf said.

Australia's ambassador to Indonesia recalled following the executions. (pictured) Indonesian president Joko Widodo. Photo: Getty

Widodo, who took office in October, cites figures from the national anti-narcotics agency showing that more than 30 Indonesians die every day due to drugs.

However some academics believe the agency's data is flawed, while critics accuse Widodo of pursuing a populist policy following recent political problems.

The bodies of Chan and Sukumaran, in plain wooden coffins, arrived in Jakarta after being driven from Cilacap in two ambulances. They were taken to a funeral home and will soon be flown back to Australia for burial.