Indonesia set to execute 15 inmates

The island of Nusakambangan, dubbed the “Alcatraz of Indonesia”. Source: Wikimedia


Amnesty International has condemned Indonesia’s decision to execute death-row inmates, following reports of prisoners being moved to Nusakambangan jail where convicts usually wait for their execution.

The executions were due to take place this month said Attorney General HM Prasetyo, with 15 death-row inmates on the list, including 10 foreigners, four Chinese nationals, one Pakistani, two Nigerians, two Senegalese and one Zimbabwean.

Central Java police spokesman Liliek Darmanto said were five Indonesians, including a woman.

Last Sunday, Indonesians Suryanto, 53, Agus Hadi, 53, and Pudjo Lestari, 42, were moved to Nusakambangan.

Among other foreigners on death row for drug trafficking are Filipino Mary Jane Veloso, British Lindsay Sandiford and French Serge Atlaoui but it was not clear if they were among those scheduled to be executed.

Liliek said 150 police marksmen had been appointed to carry out the killings.

“They have practised for days, so that the execution can be conducted any time,” Liliek explained.

Ten marksmen carry out each execution.

Amnesty said the three prisoners were sentenced to death in 2007 for being convicted of attempting to smuggle benzodiazepine pills from Malaysia, which does not meet the “most-serious crimes” threshold under international rights law to justify execution.

“It is devastating to hear that three more people are facing execution. The death penalty is a cruel, inhumane and degrading punishment that has no place in today’s justice system,” Amnesty International’s Diana Sayed said.

Amnesty, which has called for the abolition of the death penalty for more than four decades, called on Jakarta to halt the executions.

“The death penalty is always a violation of human rights and can never be condoned under any circumstances. State-sanctioned killing only serves to continue the cycle of violence and we know it doesn’t work as a deterrent for further crimes,” Sayed said.

Last year most of those executed were foreigners, prompting diplomatic pressure from many countries.

Australia temporarily recalled its ambassador to Indonesia following the execution of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, although relations have since been restored.

At least 121 inmates were on death row in Indonesia, including 35 foreigners who were mostly convicted on drug charges, Jakarta’s Justice Ministry said. President Joko Widodo since taking office in 2014 has taken a tough stance against drug trafficking, claiming the country faces a drugs emergency.