Human rights groups on Wednesday in New York urged Indonesian government to halt the impending executions of more than a dozen convicts for drug offenses.
This is coming after the attorney general’s office said it was preparing to proceed with further executions, but has not announced a date or other details.
Media report said that 14 convicts could face firing squads as early as Friday.
The Amnesty International said Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who came to power in 2014, would put his government “on the wrong side of history” if he allowed the executions to go ahead.
Josef Benedict, the Organisation’s Deputy Director for South-East Asia and the Pacific, said that “President Widodo’s era was supposed to represent a new start for human rights in Indonesia.
He said it was so unfortunate that Widodo could preside over the highest number of executions in the country’s democratic era at a time most of the world has turned its back on this cruel practice.
Benedict recalled that Indonesia executed 14 death-row convicts last year in a move that drew criticism from the United Nations and the European Union.
Phelim Kine, the Group’s Deputy Asia Director, urged the president to commute the death sentences.
He said Widodo should acknowledge the death penalty’s barbarity and avoid a potential diplomatic firestorm by sparing the lives of the 14 or more people facing imminent execution.
Kine said that the foreign convicts expected to be executed include a Pakistani, an Indian, a Zimbabwean, a Senegalese, a South African and five Nigerians.
He said more than 121 people were on death row in Indonesia, including 35 foreigners, mainly for drug-related crimes.
President Widodo has taken a tough stance against drug trafficking since his election in 2014, saying the country is facing a drug emergency. (dpa/NAN)