Sun, Jan 18, 2015 - Page 5 News List

Indonesia preparing to execute drug smugglers

‘PROTECTING OUR NATION’:President Joko Widodo said there is ‘no excuse for drug dealers,’ and rejected appeals, saying that all judicial proceedings had followed the law

AP, JAKARTA

Drug convict Namaona Dennis’ wife, Dewi Retno Atik, right, and her lawyer Chairul Anam, left, leave maximum security prison Nusa Kambangan in Cilacap, Indonesia, yesterday.

Photo: AFP

Five foreigners and an Indonesian woman sentenced to death on drug charges are set to be executed by firing squad despite international pleas, Indonesian officials said yesterday.

A last-minute personal appeal by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to spare her countryman, ex-pilot Marco Moreira, and the Dutch government for its citizen, Ang Kiem Soei, “will not change or delay the execution” today, Indonesian Attorney General’s Office spokesman Tony Spontana said.

The men are among five foreigners and an Indonesian woman convicted on drug charges between 2000 and 2011, and sentenced to death. They are facing a firing squad with the executions due to take place simultaneously in pairs, but at different locations.

Spontana said the men and two other foreign convicts — Namaona Denis of Malawi and Nigerian Daniel Enemuo — along with an Indonesian woman, Rani Andriani, were moved to isolation cells yesterday. Execution spots were prepared on the Nusakambangan island prison where they are being held. The other woman, Tran Thi Bich Hanh of Vietnam, is due to be executed in Boyolali. Both areas are in Central Java Province.

Clemency requests were rejected by Indonesian President Joko Widodo last month.

“What we do is merely aimed at protecting our nation from the danger of drugs,” Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo said on Thursday. “There is no excuse for drug dealers and, hopefully, this will have a deterrent effect.”

He said that Widodo refused Rousseff’s appeal by telephone to spare Moreira. The president told Rousseff that he could not commute the sentence because all judicial proceedings had followed Indonesian law and Moreira had been granted due process, Prasetyo said.

He said that the executions will not disturb Indonesia’s ties with those nations.

Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders on Friday said that Kiem Soei, who previously had his nationality declared unclear by the Indonesian government, is a Dutch citizen.

He said the government in The Hague is doing all it can to prevent his execution.

“We are working on all channels — international and to the highest level we are trying to prevent it,” Koenders told Dutch broadcaster NOS.

Koenders said the Netherlands was in contact with other nations whose nationals face execution.

Amnesty International said that the planned executions would be a setback to the new government’s promise of improving respect for human rights.

Indonesia is known for having extremely strict drug laws and often executes smugglers. More than 138 people are on death row, mostly for drug crimes. About one-third of them are foreigners.

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