Indonesia sparks worldwide condemnation over execution of five foreigners for drug smuggling despite appeals

Dutch Foreign Minister: 'It is a cruel and inhumane punishment'

Zachary Davies Boren
Sunday 18 January 2015 11:20
Comments

The Indonesian government's decision to execute six people, including five foreigners, despite international appeals has caused a diplomatic crisis, with Brazil and the Netherlands recalling their ambassadors.

Despite protestations from the Dutch King and Prime Minister, as well as the Brazilian President, Indonesia had four men from Brazil, Malawi, Nigeria and the Netherlands executed by firing squad for drug trafficking.

Two women, one from Indonesia and the other Vietnam, were also shot dead.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo first rejected clemency requests in December, and later refused last minute appeals to spare the foreign nationals — Brazilian Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira, 53, and Ang Kiem Soe, 52, who was born in Papua but whose nationality is Dutch.

He said there is no excuse for drug dealers and, "hopefully, this will have a deterrent effect" — clemency will not be granted to any of the remaining 64 drug convicts on death row.

In response to the executions, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said she was "outraged and dismayed" and claimed "relations between the two countries have been affected".

The Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders called the execution "a cruel and inhumane punishment" and "an unacceptable denial of human dignity".

Both countries have withdrawn their ambassadors, and the Netherlands has summoned Indonesia's representative to The Hague.

Amnesty International said the first executions under the new president, who took office in November, were "a retrograde step" for human rights.

Indonesia has the largest drug trade in Southeast Asia

Indonesia, where internal figures state 40 to 50 people die each day from drugs, has the largest drug market in Southeast Asia, with 45 per cent of the region's drugs in circulation.

There are 138 people on death row in Indonesia, most of them on drug offences, and third of which claim foreign citizenship.

Brazilian Moreira was arrested in 2003, after police at Jakarta airport found cocaine hidden in his hang glider.

A second Brazilian national, Rodrigo Muxfeldt Gularte, remains on death row in Indonesia, also convicted of drug trafficking.

Dutch national Ang was arrested near Jakarta in 2003, after police found equipment which they estimated had been producing 15,000 ecstasy pills a day for three years.

The others who were executed were Namaona Denis, 48, from Malawi; Daniel Enemuo, 38, from Nigeria, and Indonesian Rani Andriani.

Tran Bich Hanh of Vietnam asked authorities to let her face the firing squad uncuffed as one of her last wishes, Spontana said.

They were killed in pairs just after midnight on Saturday, several miles from a high security prison on Nusakambangan island in Central Java.

Their bodies were brought from the island by ambulances early Sunday either for burial or cremation, as requested by relatives and representatives of their embassies.

Additional reporting by Associated Press

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in