[JURIST] An Indonesian court on Monday rejected the appeals of two Australians on death row for drug smuggling. The two Australians, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, are known leaders of the Bali Nine [Guardian backgrounder] narcotics organization. They filed appeals [JURIST report] after President Joko Widodo [BBC profile] rejected their pleas to spare their lives. Lawyers for the Australians expressed disappointment with the decision and said they plan to appeal [AP report] to Indonesia’s Constitutional Court.
Indonesia has been under international scrutiny over its use of the death penalty. In February a spokesperson for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] urged [JURIST report] the Indonesian government to halt all executions of people convicted of drug-related offenses. In January another spokesperson for the OHCHR voiced concern [JURIST report] over the continued use of the death penalty in Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The OHCHR reported that eight more people convicted of drug trafficking in Vietnam had been sentenced to death. Also in January Brazil and the Netherlands recalled [JURIST report] their ambassadors from Indonesia after an Indonesian firing squad executed six convicted drug traffickers [JURIST report], sparking international condemnation from human rights groups and foreign leaders.