Posted by News Express | 28 July 2016 | 3,237 times
The Indonesian government has carried out executions of an unspecified number of convicted drug traffickers, according to local television reports.
The attorney general’s office had said earlier on Thursday that 14 people, including foreigners, would be executed “soon.”
As reported by News Express since Wednesday, the 14 convicts included six or seven Nigerians and two or three other Africans. The Nigerians were Obinna Nwajagu, Ozias Sibanda, Michael Titus Igweh, Humphrey Ejike and Eugene Ape. The other convicts were Frederik Luttar (Zimbabwe), Seck Osmane (Senegal) and Okonkwo Nonso Kingsley (apparently a Nigerian claiming Sierra Leonean nationality).
The rest west Zulfiqar Ali (Pakistan), Merry Utami (Indonesia), Freddy Budiman (Indonesia), Pujo Lestari (Indonesia), Agus Hadi (Indonesia), Gudrip Singh (India).
The convicts were shot by firing squad at the Nusa Kambangan penal island shortly after midnight on Friday local time (1700 GMT on Thursday) amid pouring rain, according to TV reports.
It was unclear how many were executed, TV One and Metro TV said, citing an unnamed source.
The lawyer of Pakistani prisoner Zulfikar Ali told Al Jazeera’s Step Vaessen that his client was not among those who had reportedly been executed.
“But so far, we can’t confirm this officially,” Vaessen, who is reporting from Jakarta, said.
The executions were the third set carried out since President Joko Widodo took office in October 2014.
Widodo refused appeals for clemency from relatives of the convicts and ignored calls to halt the executions.
Widodo’s two-year-old administration will have executed more people than were executed in the previous decade. Fourteen were put to death last year. But one prisoner, a woman from the Philippines, was spared the death penalty at the last minute.
The European Union and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had called on Indonesia to impose an immediate moratorium on executions, and the Indian and Pakistani governments also made urgent efforts to save two nationals among the condemned.
Indonesia has not released an official list of those to be executed.
The Indonesian government said the death penalty is necessary for narcotics-related crimes because the country was facing a drugs epidemic, particularly affecting young people.
But critics argue that capital punishment is not an effective deterrent and some have also questioned the accuracy of the government’s drug abuse statistics.
The government of Jokowi’s predecessor did not carry out executions between 2009 and 2012, but resumed them in 2013.
•Adapted from an Al Jazeera report. File Photo shows a Nigerian convict being marched towards the execution site in Indonesia.
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