[JURIST] Brazil and the Netherlands on Sunday recalled their ambassadors from Indonesia after an Indonesian firing sqaud executed six convicted drug traffickers, sparking international condemnation from human rights groups and foreign leaders. The executions [JURIST report] took place in Jakarta, Indonesia and are the result of strict anti-drug legislation. The president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff [BBC profile], expressed [press release, in Portugese] outrage and regret towards the executions and stated that “the use of the death penalty, that the increasingly global society condemns, severely affect[ed] the relations between [their] countries.” Bert Koenders, Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, in a statement issued following the executions [official text], called them “tragic” and expressed disappointment that repeated pleas for the cancellation of the executions had “been in vain”. Both the Brazilian ambassador and the Dutch ambassador have been recalled [BBC report] for “consultations.” The attorney general of Indonesia, H.M. Prasetyo, however, expressed [Daily Mail report] that hopefully the executions would “send a message to members of drugs syndicates.” He also addressed international controversy stating that “those who disagree with the death penalty, hopefully can understand that what we are doing is simply to save our nation from the threat of narcotics.”
The death penalty [JURIST news archive] has been a controversial issue worldwide. Last year HRW decried [HRW report] the executions as a violation of international law stating that if Indonesia wants to help demonstrate leadership, “President Widodo should recognize that the death penalty is a barbaric punishment, not a crime deterrent.” Also in December the Interior Ministry of Jordan announced [JURIST report] 11 men were executed by hanging, which marks the first time Jordanian authorities delivered capital punishment in eight years. In October UN officials called on the government of Iraq [JURIST report] to impose a moratorium on the death penalty in response to a significant increase in executions since restoration of capital punishment in 2005. Earlier in October the UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OCHCHR) urged the international abolition of the death penalty [JURIST report]. In September two experts from the OHCHR encouraged [JURIST report] Saudi Arabia to implement an immediate moratorium on the death penalty following an increase in executions, with a significant number of the executions completed by beheading. In July Italian advocacy group Hands off Cain released a report [JURIST report] claiming the number of deaths by capital punishment increased despite a global trend away from the practice.