In­done­sian and three Nige­ri­ans ex­e­cuted for drug crimes

The Star (St. Lucia) - - INTERNATIONAL -

I ndone­sia has car­ried out the ex­e­cu­tions of four drug con­victs, in­clud­ing three for­eign­ers. The In­done­sian man and three Nige­ri­ans were killed by fir­ing squad in the first min­utes of Fri­day, lo­cal time, at the Nusakam­ban­gan pri­son is­land.

A fur­ther 10 con­victs who had been ex­pected to be killed had a last-minute stay of ex­e­cu­tion although author­i­ties did not ex­plain why.

Amnesty In­ter­na­tional con­demned the killings as a “de­plorable act” that vi­o­lated lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional law.

In­done­sia’s Deputy At­tor­ney-Gen­eral Noor Rach­mad said it was “not a pleas­ant thing but it was to im­ple­ment the law”.

“The ex­e­cu­tions are only aimed at halt­ing drug crimes,” he said, adding that the rest “will be car­ried out in stages”.

In­done­sia has some of the world’s tough­est drug laws, and has faced in­tense crit­i­cism in­ter­na­tion­ally for re­sum­ing ex­e­cu­tions. In April 2015, the ex­e­cu­tion of 14 drug con­victs, mostly for­eign­ers, was widely crit­i­cised.

Aus­tralia briefly with­drew its am­bas­sador from In­done­sia in protest over the ex­e­cu­tion of two of its cit­i­zens.

Rel­a­tives of those ex­e­cuted on Fri­day had gath­ered at the pri­son ear­lier in the day to say fi­nal good­byes. In the early morn­ing, am­bu­lances re­turned to the main­land car­ry­ing the pris­on­ers’ bod­ies to be given to their rel­a­tives for fu­ner­als.

Ac­tivists have been par­tic­u­larly con­cerned by the cases of a Pak­istani man who they say was beaten into con­fess­ing to heroin pos­ses­sion, and an In­done­sian woman who says she was duped into be­com­ing a drug mule.

In­done­sian Pres­i­dent Joko Wi­dodo vowed to take a hard line against drug traf­fick­ing when he was elected in 2014, say­ing he would not com­pro­mise over death sen­tences to con­victed drug deal­ers. This is the third round of ex­e­cu­tions un­der Mr Wi­dodo.

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