Defying International Outcry, Indonesia Executes Eight Drug Convicts
Jakarta. Indonesia in the early hours of Wednesday executed eight men for drug offenses, including seven foreign nationals, but the life of Philippines national Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso was unexpectedly spared, media reports said.
Defying calls from world leaders,“Bali Nine” ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, both Australians; Rodrigo Gularte, a Brazilian diagnosed with a mental illness; Raheem Agbaje Salami, Martin Anderson, Sylvester Obiekwe Nwolise and Okwudili Oyatanze of Nigeria; and Indonesian national Zainal Abidin were shot by a firing squad not long after midnight.
The execution of Velosos apparently was delayed at the last minute due to new developments in the case against an alleged accomplice, against whom she may testify ,CNN Indonesia reported.
A Frenchman, Serge Atlaoui, was also initially part of the group of people to be executed this week, but he had been granted a temporary reprieve after his lawyer managed to file a final appeal.
President Joko Widodo and other senior officials have repeatedly said that the executions were necessary to end the drug emergency Indonesia is ostensibly facing. The measure however is likely to have severe consequences for Indonesia’s relations with nations such as Australia and Brazil, whose nationals were among those executed.
The executions were carried out on the colonial prison island of Nusakambangan, near Cilacap in Central Java.
Hours before the executions Australia, France and the European Union made a joint appeal to Joko call off the killings.
“It is not too late for a change of heart,” the two countries and the EU said in the statement. “It is our honest hope that Indonesia can show mercy to the condemned prisoners.”
The statement said that the ideals of forgiveness and rehabilitation are just as fundamental to Indonesia’s justice system as they are to their own.
“In making this appeal, we ask that Indonesia also reflect on the impact on its global standing and international reputation. We support Indonesia’s efforts to secure clemency for its citizens abroad. Halting these executions would help its endeavors,” the statement said. “These executions will not deter drug trafficking or stop others from falling victim to drug abuse.”
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon last week also called on Indonesia to refrain from carrying out the executions and urged Joko to urgently consider declaring a moratorium on capital punishment.
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Source: The Jakarta Globe