Pubdate: Sat, 30 Jul 2016
Source: Nation, The (Thailand)
Copyright: 2016 Nation Multimedia Group


Ciliclap, Indonesia - INDONESIA executed four drug convicts yesterday 
but 10 others due to face the firing squad were given an apparent 
reprieve in a confused process one lawyer condemned as a "complete mess".

The executions on a remote prison island went ahead despite strong 
protests from international rights groups, UN Secretary- General Ban 
Ki-moon and the European Union who had urged Indonesia not to proceed.

Four inmates - three Nigerians and one Indonesian - were put to death 
just after midnight. One of the Nigerian prisoners was cremated hours 
later, while the bodies of the three others were being prepared for burial.

Questions swirled about the handling of the process, which saw the 
other 10 prisoners slated for death - including inmates from India, 
Pakistan and Zimbabwe - spared at the last minute.

Authorities did not give a reason for the reprieve, but the prison 
island where they were expected to be executed in outdoor clearings 
was hit by a major storm as the other sentences were carried out.

Attorney- General Muhammad Prasetyo said yesterday the 10 inmates had 
been returned to their cells, suggesting their executions were not imminent.

"The fate of the other 10 we will determine later. We will see when 
the right time will be," Prasetyo told reporters. "But one thing is 
for sure - we will never stop executing people on death row."

Ricky Gunawan - whose client Humphrey Jefferson Ejike Eleweke was 
among those tied to posts and shot in the jungle clearing - said 
lawyers awaiting the grim news were kept in the dark as to why the 
executions didn't proceed as planned.

"I would say the execution this morning was a complete mess," Gunawan 
told AFP from Cilacap, located near Nusakambangan, a remote island 
housing several high-security jails and where the executions took place.

"No clear information was provided to us about the time of execution, 
why only four [were executed] and what happens to the 10 others."

Family members had already been shocked to learn on Thursday morning 
that their relatives would be put to death a day ahead of schedule.

Distraught relatives rushed to Nusakambangan to say farewell to their 
loved ones.

President Joko Widodo has defended dramatically ramping up the use of 
capital punishment, saying that Indonesia is fighting a war on drugs 
and that traffickers must be heavily punished.

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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom