Indonesia has announced a moratorium on executions as the government looks at fixing the economy.
A government official said the ban on executions would allow the nation to concentrate its stalling economy.
Indonesia has been cautious about proceeding with further executions since Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were put to death by firing squad in April.
The convicted ringleaders of the Bali Nine were among several drug offenders who faced the firing squad in a high-profile round of killings.
Senior government minister Luhut Panjaitan told their Australian counterparts executions would cease for now, the ABC reports.
The coordinator of legal, political and security affairs, Mr Luhut told a press conference Thursday morning executions would stop because the government needed to fix its weak economy.
"The government needs to focus on Indonesia's economy first,” Luhut said, but no time frame has been set on the moratorium.
In September high-profile lawyer and professor Todung Mulya Lubis wondered whether President Joko Widodo enact a moratorium as a result of the executions in April.
"But I believe that Jokowi now realises that he has to pay the price for those two executions," Professor Lubis said.
Indonesia's economy had lagged for two consecutive quarters since April, dropping 5 percent while foreign investment stalled.
"The economy is not good at the moment," Professor Lubis said in September.
"We have a problem with declining exports to other countries. And we cannot afford to have another execution, as simple as that."
Source: Yahoo News, November 19, 2015
Indonesia announces temporary ban on executions - seven months after Australian Bali Nine pair Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were put to death
|Andrew Chan (left) and Myuran Sukumaran (right)|
It has come too late for Bali Nine pair Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, but Indonesia has reportedly announced death row prisoners will now not be executed for the time being.
Nine News reported that an Indonesian government official announced the moratorium on executions would help the country concentrate on issues like 'fixing its economy'.
The announcement was reportedly made at a media conference on Thursday by coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs, Luhut Panjaitan.
The ABC also reported that the Minister said Indonesia needed to concentrate on the economy as the country’s economic growth had dipped below five per cent for two consecutive quarters this year.
Much needed foreign investment was still needed to help build up the country’s depleted infrastructure, he said.
It comes just seven months after Australian drug smugglers Chan and Sukumaran were executed by firing squad in Indonesia for their crimes.
The reformed Bali Nine ringleaders and their six fellow death row prisoners were tied to crosses with cable ties before being shot by a 12-member firing squad in April.
All eight men refused to wear blind-folds as they spent their last minutes of life praying, praising God and singing songs including Amazing Grace, according to the pastors who were with them in their final hours.
In September Chan and Sukumaran’s lawyers indicated economic pressures could lead to a halt in executions.
However up until now Indonesia had remained firm and had shown no sign they would suspend executions.
Australian artist Ben Quilty who campaigned for the pair and became a close friend of Sukumaran's was 'speechless' at the development.
'Indonesia has just announced a moratorium on execution. I'm speechless. The most profound step towards a truly civilised nation President Jokowi,' he posted on Facebook along with a picture of Sukumaran.
|Lindsay Sandiford in her Kerobokan death-row cell|
Criminal lawyer Chris Murphy hailed the decision on Tweeter and praised Mr Quilty for 'raising the issue' in the first place and who also 'lost a friend'.
But for one lucky prisoner the decision could not have come at a better time.
A British grandmother on death row has welcomed the news that Indonesia has dramatically decided to halt all executions - at least for the time being.
Lindsay Sandiford, from Redcar, has lingered on death row since her sentencing last year for attempting to smuggle cocaine into Bali.
She had lost a number of appeals but recently won the right to a retrial. But she has told other prisoners that she was still concerned that eventually she would be led before the firing squad.
Her hopes of staying alive have now risen dramatically.
Source: Mail Online, November 19, 2015