Indonesia: Stop imminent execution of six people by firing squad
Indonesia must immediately halt plans to put to death six people – one Indonesian and five foreign nationals – by firing squad this week, Amnesty International said after the Attorney General’s office today confirmed the executions would be carried out on Sunday 18 January 2015.
“These executions must be stopped immediately. The death penalty is a human rights violation, and it is shocking that the Indonesian authorities are looking to put to death six people this Sunday,” said Rupert Abbott, Amnesty International’s Research Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
PHOTO : Six foreign nationals are due to be executed in Indonesia on Sunday after being convicted and sentenced to death for drug-related offences. © iStockphoto.com/helenecanada
Indonesia’s new government took office on the back of promises to improve respect for human rights, but carrying out these executions would be a regressive move. Rather than putting to death more people, the government should immediately impose a moratorium on the use of the death penalty with a view to its eventual abolition.
- Rupert Abbott, Amnesty International’s Research Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific -
All six of those to be executed on Sunday were convicted and sentenced to death for drug-related offences. They include one Indonesian, Rani Andriani alias Melisa Aprilia; and five foreign nationals: Daniel Enemuo (Nigerian), Ang Kim Soei (Dutch), Tran Thi Bich Hanh (Vietnamese), Namaona Denis (Nigerian) and Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira (Brazilian).
Five of them are reportedly going to be executed on Nusakambangan Island, Central Java province, while Tran Thi Bich Hanh is to be executed in Boloyali district, also in Central Java.
While no executions were carried out in Indonesia in 2014, the government has announced that 20 are scheduled for this year.
In December 2014, it was also reported that President Joko Widodo would not grant clemency to at least 64 individuals who have been sentenced to death for drug-related crimes and that there were plans to execute them.
Drug-related offences do not meet the threshold of the “most serious crimes” for which the death penalty can be imposed under international law.
“It would be a huge set back if the government goes ahead with its plans to execute as many as 20 people during the year. Tackling rising crime rates is a legitimate goal of President Widodo’s administration, but the death penalty is not the answer and does not work as a deterrent to crime,” said Rupert Abbott.
“The plans for a new spate of executions come at a time when the government is actively seeking to protect Indonesian nationals who face the death penalty overseas. If the death penalty is wrong elsewhere, it is surely wrong in Indonesia too.”
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases and under any circumstances, regardless of the nature of the crime, the characteristics of the offender, or the method used by the state to carry out the execution. The death penalty violates the right to life as recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. The protection for the right to life is also recognized in Indonesia’s Constitution. So far 140 countries have abolished the death penalty in law or practice.