Indonesian government has announced it will execute 14 nationals by firing squad for drug crime. Sentiments and appeals have greeted the announcement from distraught families, foreign government and human right bodies. They condemned the action and questioned the legality of the execution. UN High commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein expressed deep concerns to Indonesia’s death penalty that lacks transparency, proper investigation and compliance with right to fair trial.
Spokesperson for Indonesian attorney general Muhammad Rum, however, backed up the execution maintaining that the decision is an “implementation of our positive laws” and that all convicts have gone through long legal process, including appeals. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo espouses the idea of death penalty as effective way to combat the drug epidemic his country is facing. But critics argue capital punishment is not an effective deterrent rather calling for a moratorium.
Six Nigerians, two Zimbabweans, four Indonesians, one Indian and one Pakistani were listed on the death row. Their families, government and human rights groups have made appeal for a review of the judgment but all to no avail. The Cilacap police spokesman said: already two burial grounds have been prepared for Christian and Muslim inmates whose bodies will not be taken by their families.
This is the third set of executions Indonesia will indulge in. China is believed to have the highest number of executions though it seldom reveals its statistics. Just last year about 1600 people secretly faced capital punishment in China. Amnesty International and other human rights groups strongly condemned capital punishment and called on States to abolish the law or adopt a moratorium.