"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." - Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Indonesia planning mass executions after Ramadan

Indonesia: Getting ready for a new wave of executions
Indonesia: Getting ready for a new wave of executions
Spokesman for attorney-general confirms that executions are set to resume after a hiatus

Indonesia plans to put 16 convicts to death after next month’s Muslim Eid holiday, an official said Tuesday, confirming executions were set to resume after a hiatus.

The death row convicts will be executed “immediately after” the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, Mohammad Rum, a spokesman for the attorney-general’s office, told AFP, but he did not give a precise date.

Ramadan ends with the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which falls in Indonesia on 6 and 7 July.

Rum did not say who would face the firing squad, but Indonesia has been waging a campaign against narcotics and in 2015 executed 14 drug convicts, mostly foreigners, sparking international outrage.

There have been no executions since April last year, with Indonesia saying it was pausing capital punishment to focus on fixing its slowing economy.

“We could not do it earlier because the government was trying to improve our economy, but now we will take some action after Eid,” Rum said.

Rum said the convicts would likely be put to death by firing squad on the prison island of Nusakambangan, off Java, where executions are usually carried out.

There are scores of drug convicts on death row in Indonesia, among them foreigners including Frenchman Serge Atlaoui and Filipina Mary Jane Veloso, who were both pulled from the last round of executions.

British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford is on death row in Bali after she was caught smuggling a huge stash of cocaine into the resort island.

President Joko Widodo declared a war on drugs when he took office in 2014, saying that the country was facing an emergency due to rising narcotics use and traffickers should be severely punished.

There were two rounds of executions last year. The second round in April, which saw two Australians, a Brazilian and four Nigerians put to death, caused the most serious diplomatic backlash.

Following the executions of the Australian drug smugglers, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, Canberra temporarily recalled its ambassador from Jakarta.

Source: Agence France-Presse, June 14, 2016


British pair may face firing squad during new 'wave' of executions in Indonesia

Lindsay Sandiford (center) and Kerobokan prison inmates
Lindsay Sandiford (center) knitting with other Kerobokan prison inmates.
A grandmother and a father may be among 16 executed after Ramadan ends

Indonesia is to perform a wave of executions after the end of Ramadan, meaning two British people on death row may face the firing squad sooner than expected.

The country’s government announced it plans to put 16 convicted prisoners to death after Eid holiday in early July, the first executions since the start of a hiatus in April last year.

Lindsay Sandiford, a grandmother from Teeside convicted of trafficking cocaine with a street value of £1.6 million, was given the death penalty in August 2013 and remains on death row.

Gareth Cashmore from Yorkshire was convicted for smuggling crystal meth in the country and has been in custody since September 2012.

It is not yet clear whether Ms Sandiford or Mr Cashmore will be among the group of prisoners executed next month.

Mohammad Rum, spokesman for the Indonesian attorney-general, told AFP the executions would take place soon but refused to specify who would face the firing squad or on what date.

“We could not do it earlier because the government was trying to improve our economy, but now we will take some action after Eid,” he said.

Executions were temporarily halted in the spring last year after the ‘Bali Nine’ drug-traffickers including two Australians were killed by firing squad in April, a case which caused international outrage and criticism of the Indonesian government.

Indonesia claimed at the time the country’s economic troubles had forced the suspension of executions, although many argued the true motivation was political.

Twelve foreigners were executed in 2015 in total, all on drugs charges.

Ms Sandiford, 59, has repeatedly insisted she was manipulated and used as a mule to transport the cocaine as a means to protect her sons, aged 22 and 24.

She launched an appeal to have her sentence reduced but it was rejected, as the majority of appeals for drug offences are.

Despite the attempted intervention of prime minister David Cameron during a visit to Jakarta in 2014, Ms Sandiford’s position remains unchanged.

Prosecutors said Mr Cashmore was attempting to transport crystal meth worth up to £800,000 when he was arrested at Soekarno-Hatta Airport.

Rum confirmed the executions would take place on the island of Nusakambangan near Java, where they are typically carried out.

Indonesian president Joko Widodo says the policy of executing drug smugglers is "necessary" because of the mounting problem with substance abuse in the country.

The Independent has contacted the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for comment.

Source: The Independent, June 14, 2016


Indonesia to execute 16 inmates after Ramadan

16 people are set to face a firing squad in Indonesia this year, with the Attorney General saying they have the budget to execute another 30 in 2017.

Attorney General Office Spokesman Muhammad Rum has told AAP the exact timing of the executions will be decided after Indonesia's Eid al-Fitr July national holiday, Lebaran (Ramadan).Mr Rum says drug offenders will be a 'priority' but this still needs to be confirmed.

He says the most likely site for the executions is Nusakambangan - the notorious island prison where Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were shot by firing squads in April last year. Under the state budget a further 30 people are scheduled to face the death penalty next year, Mr Rum said.

But, Mr Rum said, the location also still needs to be confirmed.

'One thing for sure, it's after Lebaran, 16 people. That's all,' he added.Speaking after a hearing into the budget in parliament on Monday, Attorney General HM Prasetyo told Metro TV: 'We will not stop the execution ... The budget is ready'.

'We still have 58 death convicts of drugs cases and 152 for all kinds of crimes - murder and there's also terrorism. All we will (execute).'

Security Minister Luhut Panjaitan has previously said he did not want to see a repeat of the 'drama' or 'soap opera' such as that which occurred in the lead up to the Australians' executions, where Indonesia faced intense diplomatic pressure, as well as strident international appeals and pleas from family members.

Indonesian law stipulates authorities only need to give 3 days' notice of an execution taking place.

Speaking during the anniversary of Chan and Sukumaran's death this year, their Indonesian lawyer and long time anti-death penalty campaigner Dr Todung Mulya Lubis said while he could not see the abolition of the death penalty in the country happening 'any time soon', he hopes a bill tabled before parliament might provide a middle way.

Under the proposed changes, if people show they have rehabilitated themselves, they could see their execution commuted to a life sentence.

Source: Sky News, June 14, 2016


21 Nigerians are among the 121 prisoners on death row in Indonesia.

30 of the prisoners will be executed before the end of 2017. 18 of them will be executed after July 6, the Eid el-Fitr Muslim holiday, which ends the holy month of Ramadan.

Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora to President Muhammadu Buhari, disclosed this to Independent on Monday.

Bambang Waluyo, Indonesian Deputy Attorney General, announced the execution schedule during a parliamentary hearing in Jakarta. The Justice Ministry said those on death row in Indonesia are mostly convicted of drug-related crimes and that at least 35 of them are foreigners.

In 2015, Indonesia had equally executed 14 convicts, all but 2 of them foreigners, in a move that drew international condemnation. Dabiri-Erewa noted that one Nigerian was executed in the last batch of execution. Under Indonesian law, each convict would face a squad of 10 gunmen.

Dabiri-Erewa, who was chairman, House of Representatives' Committee on Diaspora before her present appointment, noted that when a Nigerian delegation visited Indonesia in 2010 to plead for Nigerians on death row, that the Indonesian government made it clear that the death penalty is the law.

"As the world keeps appealing to Indonesia not to kill them, we must also admonish our citizens to avoid crime and be good ambassadors wherever they find themselves", she said.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who took office in 2014, has taken a tough stance against drug trafficking, saying that the country is facing a drug emergency.

Source: nigeriatoday.ng, June 14, 2016

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