INDONESIA: EIGHT DRUG CONVICTS EXECUTED BY FIRING SQUAD
April 29, 2015: defying intense pressure from the international community, the government executed eight drug convicts at 12:30 a.m. on Nusakambangan prison island near Cilacap in Central Java.
The eight were Indonesian Zainal Abidin, Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, Brazilian Rodrigo Gularte, Nigerians Sylvester Obiekwe Nwolise, Raheem Agbaje Salami and Okwudili Oyatanze, Ghanaian Martin Anderson.
Chan and Sukumaran were arrested on the holiday island of Bali in 2005 for trying to smuggle 8 kg of heroin to Australia. They were convicted for being the ringleaders of a group of Australian heroin traffickers known as the Bali Nine.
The only female convict due to be shot alongside Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran was spared the firing squad after she agreed to give evidence on drug syndicates. Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso of the Philippines was spared after a woman who allegedly recruited her to act as a drug courier gave herself up to police in the Philippines on 28 April.
Officials said the prisoners were to be given the choice to stand, kneel or sit before the firing squad, and to be blindfolded. Twelve marksmen were assigned to fire at the heart of each prisoner - but only three would have live ammunition. Authorities say this is so that the executioner remains unidentified.
The eight death penalties were carried out after Jakarta rejected last-ditch pleas from the prisoners' families and the international community. The proposed death sentences were condemned by the United Nations, and have caused diplomatic tensions between Australia and Indonesia.
The execution was the second round after the first was carried out on 18 January, during which six inmates from Indonesia, the Netherlands, Brazil, Nigeria, Vietnam and Malawi were killed by firing squad. (Sources: The Jakarta Post/news.sky.com/9news.com.au, 29/04/2015)