[JURIST] The State Administrative Court of Jakarta [official website, in Indonesian] on Monday denied the clemency appeal of a French citizen sentenced to death on a drug trafficking charge. The appeal of Serge Atlaoui was an effort to reverse the original clemency denial made by President Joko Widodo [BBC profile] last year. The country has received significant criticism for its use of the death penalty for drug offenses, particularly against foreign nationals. In its opinion, the Jakarta court said that granting clemency was the exclusive prerogative of the president. France, which firmly opposes the death penalty, has aimed to provide aid [Le Monde report, in French] to Atlaoui and has warned of “consequences” should the execution be completed.
Indonesia’s use of the death penalty has been an international point of contention, with several members of the international community speaking out against the practice. In April, Indonesia executed [JURIST report] eight convicted drug smugglers said to be part of the “Bali Nine” smuggling ring by firing squad. 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].