Pubdate: Fri, 29 Jul 2016
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2016 The New York Times Company
Author: Joe Cochrane


JAKARTA, Indonesia - Indonesia on Friday executed three foreigners 
and an Indonesian convicted of drug crimes, an official said, as the 
country resumed a "war on drugs" that drew international condemnation 
last year after two mass executions of foreign drug convicts.

The official, Deputy Attorney General Noor Rachmad, said that the 
Indonesian convict, two Nigerians and a Senegalese were executed by 
firing squad shortly after midnight.

Mr. Rachmad said a decision had not yet been made about when 10 
others convicted of drug crimes and sentenced to death, mostly 
foreigners, would be executed.

News agencies previously reported that the three foreigners executed 
Friday were all Nigerians.

The list of the 10 still facing execution includes prisoners from 
Nigeria, Zimbabwe, India and Pakistan. Three other Indonesians, 
including one woman, are also scheduled to die, said the Community 
Legal Aid Institute, an Indonesian organization representing some of 
the convicts.

All 14 prisoners were convicted of drug-related offenses, including 
smuggling and trafficking, according to the organization, which 
released their names on Wednesday.

There was a flurry of 11th-hour appeals to spare them, but to no 
avail for four of the prisoners.

"The action that Indonesia takes now is just about law implementation 
and enforcement," Arrmanatha Nasir, the chief spokesman for the 
country's Foreign Ministry, said on Thursday. "Just like how 
Indonesia respects the law of other nations, we hope all countries 
will respect Indonesian law."

In recent days, the attorney general's office has transferred an 
unknown number of inmates on death row for drug-related crimes to the 
prison island of Nusakambangan, off the south coast of Java Island, 
where Indonesia's executions are carried out. The prisoners were all 
placed in isolation.

Despite having dozens of convicts on death row, most of them for 
drug-related offenses, Indonesia in recent years has executed few 
prisoners. Between 2009 and 2014, only four were executed: three 
Indonesians for murder and one from Malawi for drug trafficking.

However, shortly after the current president, Joko Widodo, took 
office in October 2014, he declared that the country was facing a 
"drugs emergency" and rejected clemency appeals from more than 60 
death row inmates. International analysts have questioned the claim 
that there is such an emergency.

Mr. Joko approved the mass executions in January and April of last 
year, telling the leaders of allied countries like Australia and the 
Netherlands, Indonesia's former colonial master, not to interfere 
with the country's sovereignty.

Firing squads executed 13 people in 2015 for drug offenses, all but 
one of them foreigners. One Indonesian was executed for murder in January 2015.

The foreigners included a citizen of the Netherlands, which increased 
condemnation from Western nations.

One female death row inmate from the Philippines and another from 
France were spared the firing squad last year after last-minute 
appeals, but they remain on death row.

The two executed foreign prisoners with the highest profiles were 
Andrew Chan, 31, and Myuran Sukumaran, 34, members of the so-called 
Bali Nine group of Australians who were arrested in 2005 trying to 
smuggle 18.5 pounds of heroin out of the resort island of Bali.

A Brazilian who was executed, Rodrigo Gularte, 42, had schizophrenia 
and bipolar disorder, conditions that his lawyers said should have 
disqualified him from criminal prosecution under Indonesian law.

The United Nations and international human rights groups have said 
that the majority of those executed last year did not receive fair trials.

Advocates for the prisoners who were executed on Friday and those 
still facing the firing squad have also said that the prisoners 
either did not get fair trials, were not provided with adequate legal 
representation or were tortured into confessing.

The European Union issued a statement on Wednesday calling on 
Indonesia to halt the scheduled executions and to consider joining 
more than 140 nations that have abolished the death penalty.

"The E.U. is opposed to capital punishment without exception and has 
consistently called for its universal abolition," the statement said. 
"The death penalty is a cruel and inhumane punishment, which fails to 
act as a deterrent and represents an unacceptable denial of human 
dignity and integrity."

The United Nations also weighed in, with Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, the 
high commissioner for human rights, saying that Indonesia's 
increasing use of the death penalty was "terribly worrying."

"I find it deeply disturbing that Indonesia has already executed 19 
people since 2013, making it the most prolific executioner in 
Southeast Asia," he said in a statement on Wednesday.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom