Jakarta (AsiaNews) - In the next few days in Indonesia six people, including four foreigners will be executed. The Attorney General in Jakarta has confirmed that the six will be put to death after being found guilty of crimes related to drugs. These are the first executions under the new president Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, who declared open war on drug trafficking. Even a few days ago the head of state spoke on the issue, noting that "there will be no forgiveness" for those who have been convicted of drug offenses and are currently on death row.
Jokowi's inflexibility in terms of drug trafficking
has upset human
rights activists and movements,
who hoped for a moratorium
on the death penalty with the rise to power of a reformist
and popular president.
Those who will be executed - by firing squad - this weekend include citizens of Brazil, Malawi, Vietnam and Nigeria (pictured); the other two are an Indonesian citizen and a man whose nationality is uncertain, although the Netherlands Government is reported to have confirmed the man as one of its citizens.
The Attorney General H.M. Prasetyo says this
sends a "strong
message" to the drug lords, that there will be "no
mercy for drug traffickers. For those who disagree with the death penalty, hopefully they
can understand that what we are doing is simply to save our nation from the
threat of narcotics".
Also for the Indonesian Supreme Court spokesman Suhadi the executions - which recommenced last year, after a moratorium that began in 2008 - are "in accordance with the law", despite the wave of protests of activists and the demands to commute the death penalty to life in prison. On 30 December, the president rejected their request for clemency. To date there are 64 other prisoners on death row for drug offenses, waiting to face the Executioner.
Last December the Indonesian Bishops Conference (KWI) also intervened contesting the position of inflexibility and rigor adopted by Jokowi regarding drug-related offenses. "No one has the right to put an end to the life of another," said Fr. Siswantoko, putting in doubt the real guilt of the condemned and whether they are the real drug "lords" or mere pawns. "The death penalty is not the right way to apply the law with dignity, because it puts an end to the existence of the condemned".