INDONESIA: SIX DRUG CONVICTS EXECUTED BY FIRING SQUAD
|Indonesian President Joko Widodo
January 18, 2015: Indonesia executed six people, including a national woman and five foreigners, who had all been sentenced to death on drug offences, in the first executions to take place under new President Joko Widodo, who refused to heed all international requests for clemency.
Vietnamese woman Tran Thi Bich Hanh was executed in Boyolali district in central Java, while five others were put to death on Nusakambangan Island, home to a high-security prison. They included an Indonesian woman, Rani Andriani, along with 53-year-old Brazilian Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira and 62-year-old Dutchman Ang Kiem Soei. Two Nigerians ‚Äď Daniel Enemuo and Solomon Chibuike Okafor, who was however being classified as a citizen of Malawi because he was arrested using a Malawian passport bearing Namaona Denis ‚Äď were also executed.
They were sentenced to death between 2000 and 2011, and all the prisoners were executed by firing squad around the same time, shortly after midnight.
All those executed were caught attempting to smuggle drugs apart from the Dutchman, who was sentenced to death for operating a huge factory producing ecstasy.
Brazil's president and the Dutch foreign minister led an international outcry against the executions.
Brazil recalled its ambassador in Jakarta for consultations and said the executions would affect bilateral relations. "The use of the death penalty, which the world society increasingly condemns, affects severely the relationship of our countries," President Dilma Roussef said in a statement published by Brazil's official news agency.
The Netherlands, a former colonial power in Indonesia, also recalled its ambassador and condemned the execution of its citizen, Ang Kiem Soei. "It is a cruel and inhuman punishment that amounts to an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity," said Dutch foreign minister Bert Koenders.
Indonesia, which has strict drug laws, ceased executing people in 2008, but began again in 2013, though 2014 saw no one put to death.
President Widodo, who took office in October 2014, has taken a particularly hard line towards people on death row for narcotics offences, insisting they will not receive a presidential pardon as Indonesia is facing an "emergency" due to high levels of drug use. (Sources: AFP, AP, DPA, This Day, abc.net.au, 18/01/2014)