Six drug smugglers executed in Indonesia News
Six drug smugglers executed in Indonesia

[JURIST] The Indonesian government on Saturday executed six people convicted of drug trafficking. Ignoring last minute diplomatic pleas by foreign leaders, the six drug smugglers, including five foreigners, were executed by firing squad shortly after midnight. The foreign convicts were from Nigeria, Malawi, Vietnam, the Netherlands and Brazil. The executions were part of a plan by the government to crack down on drugs and to send a message about its new tough approach. President Joko Widodo [BBC profile] rejected their clemency requests in December and ignored ast minute appeals by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff [BBC backgrounder] and the Dutch government. Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] said [press release] that the killings were a “retrograde step for human rights in the country.” Rupert Abbott, AI’s Research Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, stated, “This is a seriously regressive move and a very sad day. The new administration has taken office on the back of promises to make human rights a priority, but the execution of six people flies in the face of these commitments.”

The death penalty [JURIST news archive] has been a controversial issue worldwide. 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.