World Leaders Make Last-Minute Pleas to Jokowi to Halt Executions
Jakarta. Hours before Indonesian authorities execute the nine drug convicts in Nusa Kambangan, Central Java, Australia, France and the European Union on Tuesday made a joint appeal to President Joko Widodo to halt the planned execution.
“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 endeavours,” the two countries and the EU said.
On the list of people to be executed are “Bali Nine” duo Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, both Australians; Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso of the Philippines; 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.
A Frenchman, Serge Atlaoui, was initially part of this group of people, but he has been granted a temporary reprieve after his lawyer managed to file a final appeal on the verge of the deadline on Thursday.
Australia, France and the EU also expressed their support for the recent statement by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, in which he called for Indonesia to refrain from carrying out the executions and urged Joko to urgently consider declaring a moratorium on capital punishment in Indonesia.
“We fully respect Indonesia’s sovereignty. But we are strongly opposed to the death penalty at home and abroad.
“These executions will not deter drug trafficking or stop others from falling victim to drug abuse. To execute these prisoners now would achieve nothing,” they said.
The executions on the prison island near Cilacap in Central Java are likely to be carried out in the early hours of Wednesday, though neither date nor time have been officially announced.
The Attorney General’s Office stopped short of confirming if it will be done early on Wednesday
“They are already inside the isolation room so there is no reason to further delay the execution. It will be this week,” Tony Spontana, a spokesman of the Attorney General Office, said on Tuesday.
Executioners and a total of 12 ambulances carrying coffins have been deployed to Nusakambangan prison island on Tuesday, police said.
“Each person will face 14 executors,” the Central Java Police chief, Insp. Gen. Noer Ali, said. “There are nine people in total,” he said.
France, Australia and Brazil have been the most vocal critics of Joko’s decision to carry out the executions.
Ban as a Western stooge
A senior lawmaker from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) has criticized the UN chief for pleading with Joko not to execute the nine drug convicts on death row, implicitly accusing Ban of being a Western stooge.
“The death sentence is a positive law that applies in Indonesia and the judges’ verdict is legal,” said Tubagus Hasanuddin, a member of the House of Representatives’ Commission I, overseeing international affairs.
“Ban Ki-moon’s stance has proven that the United Nations can easily be influenced by big countries like Australia and France.”
Tubagus said Ban’s statement, made through his spokesman last week, has undermined the UN’s authority.
“Capital punishment is still being used in many countries, like in the Middle East, Singapore, Malaysia and many other countries including the United States,” said Tubagus, a retired Army general who is now a lawmaker for Joko’s PDI-P.
“Why hasn’t Ban made a fuss about that, too? Is he upset because Jokowi criticized him at the Asian-African Conference?” he said, referring to the president’s statement calling for UN reform over its failure to eradicate global economic inequality.
Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo, another PDI-P stalwart, has also said that Ban’s request would not change Indonesia’s stance on capital punishment.
“Even if there are a thousand UN secretary generals [making such a request], President Jokowi will still hold on to the court’s ruling,” Tjahjo said. “The verdict was made by the judges, it is legally binding and has to be carried out.”
A Yogyakarta court is said to have rejected the second appeal that Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso of the Philippines filed. She is set to face the firing squad.
“The rejection for the second appeal filed by Mary Jane is based on the law that stipulates there will be no second appeal if the first one has been rejected,” Sleman District Court spokesman, Marliyus, told state-run news agency Antara.
Veloso’s appeal was rejected only a few hours after it had been submitted by her lawyer on Monday afternoon.
Previously, Veloso’s lawyer, Agus Salim, said the second appeal was filed because there was new evidence that proved his client had not acted as a mediator in the drug transaction.
Agus said with the new evidence, it was clear that the verdict made by the judge could not have been valid.
Australian death row convict Andrew Chan got married in prison on Monday, ahead of his planned execution, according to a media report.
Chan, a ringleader of the so-called “Bali Nine” gang, married his Indonesian girlfriend Febiyanti Herewila in the maximum-security prison on Nusakambangan island, off the coast of Central Java.
“They just got married. They held a simple wedding in the prison,” Chan’s brother, Michael Chan, told news portal Detik.com.
Michael said his brother had decided to hold a simple wedding because he knew he didn’t have much time left.
Preparations for his execution have already begun, and the Australian is likely to be placed in front of a firing squad.
“The time is limited and they knew there would be an execution on Tuesday. That’s why they decided to get married today,” the brother said on Monday.
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Source: The Jakarta Globe