Ten foreign drug convicts on death row will face firing squads this month as part of a third round of controversial executions under President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, local authorities have said.
According to The Jakarta Post, Central Java Police spokesman Sr. Comr. A. Liliek Darmanto said that ten foreign citizens, along with five Indonesians, would face the firing squad at the Nusakambangan prison island off the southern coast of Central Java. The ten include four Chinese, one Pakistani, two Nigerians, two Senegalese, and one Zimbabwean.
The executions would the first since eight drug convicts – five of them foreign – were executed in April 2015, a move which roiled relations between Jakarta and other countries and led Australia to temporarily withdraw its ambassador. An earlier round of executions occurred in January last year.
In spite of the international outcry, Jokowi has insisted that the “shock therapy” approach is needed to resolve Indonesia’s drug crisis. The Indonesian government has said 4.5 million Indonesians needing rehabilitation and 40 to 50 young people die each day due to drug use – statistics which skeptics have questioned.
While Darmanto did not reveal exactly when the executions would occur, preparations have already begun. Around 180 police personnel are prepared to assist as members of the firing squad, while four drug convicts have been transferred to Nusakambangan.
The office of Attorney General H.M. Prasetyo had previously said that a new round of executions could be expected to take place in the near future, though the dates of the executions as well the names of the inmates have not been disclosed.
By Indonesian law, the government must give 72 hours’ notice before carrying out executions. Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security Affairs Lujut Pandjaitan said last month that a press conference would also be held three days before the executions.
As preparations appear to be made for a new round of executions, rights groups and other opponents have already begun their protests at the move. Amnesty International Crisis Campaign Coordinator Diana Sayed decried Indonesia’s use of the death penalty, labeling it a violation of human rights and a cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment “that has no place in today’s justice system.”
She called on Indonesia to immediately halt plans to carry out any executions and to establish a moratorium on all executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty.